Mining must do more for communities: Sundance chief

Sundance Resources chief George Jones says the mining industry has a responsibility to do charity work in the community.

The 30-year industry veteran who will step down as chairman at Gindalbie Metals chairman next month, said he would liked to be remembered for more than "raping and pillaging" the land for profit, Perth Now reported.

"Later on that all gets forgotten it's what you actually leave behind that's important," he said.

"We're not making money yet, but we allowed in our capital budgets to do stuff in the community so we've got apprenticeship programs, we've partnered with (children's charity) Parkerville doing stuff in Geraldton for disadvantaged kids," he said.

“We actually bought a couple of farms and we've allowed some local charities to grow a crop as part of the farm that we're not using. One charity got people to help sowing the seed and harvesting it one charity one year got $90,000.

"Wherever you operate there will be something you can do in the community, related to what you do, and it's easy."

Jones said a benefit of community engagement led to a greater awareness in the community and could garner public support for upcoming projects.

Last week, Woodside chairman Michael Chaney also said community involvement was essential for the resource industry.

 "If people think you're a good company and a reputable company they will support you in a whole lot of ways," he said.

"These days, when often there is a lot of noise and protest about what a particular company is doing, it is essential to be able to demonstrate that you're actually a good corporate citizen.

Late last year, Head of NSW Minerals Council says the mining industry needs to better communicate with the community in order to maintain its social license to operate.

Speaking at the council’s environment and community conference in Wollongong, Stephen Galilee said resource company performances were continually being challenged via social media channels and that in many cases the sector needed to lift its game.

"We have genuine community concern about particular projects and that's always been the case for mining and for other industries, but we also as an industry are increasingly facing deliberate opposition by activists who are opposed to mining, and no amount of best practice on community or environmental activities are going to satisfy them.

"That is a reminder to us as an industry … that we need to be constantly lifting our game, because we're working in an environment where people are actively working to undermine our relationships with the community and with government."

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