Building trust – how to improve the communication between mining industry and society
EIT RawMaterials MineFacts Project and The Finnish Mine Water Excellence Network joint seminar
MineFacts is an EIT Raw materials-funded project that focuses on wider society learning. The aim of the project is to provide an educational package comprising fact-based information on geology, exploration and mining to municipalities in the Nordic Arctic area (Lapland, Finland; Norrbotten and Västerbotten, Sweden; Finnmark, Norway), where mining industry is active. The need for this kind of information has been expressed by many municipalities, as the municipality administrators need the information for land-use planning and economic considerations.
The other focus for the educational package developed in the project is to provide popular geological information for the communities, to moderate both the expectations and concerns raised by the exploration and mining activity and to help the projects gain the social license to operate (SLO). The educational package is offered in the local languages of the project area (Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian) and also in English to allow for a wider distribution in other mining areas of Europe.
The main themes in the educational package include: (1) geological facts and the process from geological mapping to mine development and mine closure, (2) land-use planning and legislation regulating exploration and mining in the three countries and (3) the potential socio-economic impact of mining. The project consortium involves both EIT Raw Materials KIC partners (Geological Survey of Finland GTK, Geological Survey of Sweden SGU, Luleå Technical University and Boliden AB) and task partners (University of Lapland, the municipality of Sodankylä, Nussir ASA and AA Sakatti Mining Oy) to cover a wide range of experts involved in mining industry and social sciences. The long term impact of the MineFacts project is to enhance the chances of new mining projects within EU to gain the SLO, to help in diminishing the EU dependence on imported raw materials.