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Newcrest Mining Limited, Cadia Valley Operations
Building community relations commitment at every level 2005 - 2006
Though community engagement was widespread across all areas of Newcrest’s Cadia Valley Operations the links were poorly articulated and uncoordinated. With a major new project on the horizon of a predicted mine life of up to 30 years, the operations needed to establish strong and beneficial relationships with the communities to avoid risks such as community objections to further exploration and expansion.
“Prior to working with Futureye some sections of our community were strenuously opposed to our operations. Futureye helped us to shift from a reactive shot-gun approach to a long-term strategic plan to become a valued member of the community. The success of the strategy was brought home to us when we had to ask the community for support during the recent drought, and the community despite their own needs, offered to provide us with water from their own sources. It is always a challenge to measure the success of community relations strategies and the fact that ours has also now been recognized with industry awards is very gratifying. It has helped us secure a long-term social license to grow and we are confident that we can retain good relations and community support over the 30-year lifespan of our project.”
Nedra Burns, Community Liaison Officer Newcrest
The strategy received two awards at the NSW Minerals Council Conference for its Community Relations Strategy in 2007. The success of the strategy was evident when Cadia Valley Operations faced a crisis in the form of severe water shortages which threatened to force the organisation to scale back production. The Orange Council agreed to provide Cadia Valley Operations with 450 ML of water, and an opinion poll indicated that more than two thirds of the community supported the decision. The move was also supported by local farmers, who had been strenuously opposed to the mine before the development and application of the Community Relations Strategy.