Canyon Coal’s licensing Manager Xolile Mankayi highlighted this during a panel discussion focused on ESG, at the Johannesburg Mining Indaba which took place on 04-05 October at the Inanda Club in Sandton. The panel discussed ways of achieving greater inclusivity, as mining companies across the world look to align their operations to environmental, social, and corporate (ESG) principles.
Mankayi emphasised the importance of public participation as one of the ways mining companies can maintain their connection with communities. “Extensive public participation promotes access to information. For instance, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Regulations now requires companies to host public engagement meetings as part of the Social and Labour Plan review process. This is a progressive development,” he said. Mankayi said the success of Canyon Coal’s community engagement forums and roadshows confirmed that communities were eager to engage with mining companies about developmental issues when the opportunity is created.
“Constant communication on all aspects including the environment and economic development builds trust and elevates transparency amongst stakeholders” Mankayi said, adding that government can assist by conducting legislative workshops to curb the spread of false information. Mankayi said there was no need for mining companies and communities to see themselves as characters that exists on opposite sides of the fence. Instead, there was more to be gained from collaboratively working together, toward a sustainable future.