Licence to operate an increasing risk for miners

An Ernst & Young (EY) report has named the licence to operate (LTO) as the leading risk facing the mining and metals industries over the next two years.

In its Top 10 business risks facing mining and metals in 2019–20 reportEY surveyed 250 mining and metals industry executives across various topics, with 54 per cent of respondents citing LTO as the top risk to the end of 2020.

This was up from seventh place in EY’s 2017–18 edition and it is the first time the category has led the way in the report’s 11-year history.

The report stated that LTO had “evolved beyond the narrow focus on social and environmental issues” and that there were now increased expectations from stakeholders.

These expectations include increased societal participation beyond tax and employment opportunities, technological advancement and improved disclosure of both positive and negative impacts of projects, among others.

EY suggested that LTO should become a greater priority for miners, with commitments spanning beyond life of mine.