Recently, Prospector Founder & CEO Emily King traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to participate in the Future Minerals Forum 2023. During the forum, Emily moderated a panel discussion on Improving Perceptions of Mining in Society, with panel members discussing the current issues facing the mining industry. Panel members include:
One of the first points discussed was whether the problem in the mining industry is a true perception issue or a misperception issue. The panelists acknowledged that the mining industry does have its problems, but what is missing is the positive side of the industry. According to a 2021 Globescan Poll, mining rates as one of the lowest sectors in social responsibility. One panelist pointed out that "The reality is that the perception of people puts us at the bottom of the list on our contribution to society. ... All of us will tell you that is not true because of what we actually add, but let's remember that that's how the world sees us."
The panelists also discussed how perception of the mining industry has changed over the years and how the industry itself has changed. They noted that mining communication is currently mostly based in the investor relations and stakeholder categories, when really it should focus on brand reputation and community engagement. Some mining companies are doing community and social projects to work with the communities, and others are working on social media to inform and educate people on how raw materials that are mined are used in everyday life.
The panelists then discussed possible ways to fix the perception of the mining industry. They suggested that the mining industry needs to communicate out of the echo chamber, and instead of communicating as individual companies, the industry should communicate more as a whole. This will help bring more trust into the industry and get the message out that mining is necessary and can be good. Other ideas included working with the individual "mining influencers", bringing in reviews, and of course offering easier access to mining data and transparency to inform people and bring trust into the industry.
In conclusion, the mining industry has a perception problem that needs to be addressed. The industry needs to focus on improving its image by highlighting the positive contributions it makes to society and by communicating more transparently. By working with communities, using social media, and or even relating to popular media such as games and movies, the mining industry can improve its perception and show the world that mining is necessary and can be a positive force for society!
Watch the full panel video below!
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