Stakeholder Relations and the Pursuit of Social License to Operate

Denver Gold Group Monthly Networking Luncheon

Maureen Upton, Founder, Resource Initiatives.

16 April 2014

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In pursuit of the social license to operate, mining companies are making record expenditures on activities spanning social investment, environmental stewardship and governance.  Precious metals miners and their investors have seen an increasing share of their cost per ounce represented by these programs.  However, it is not clear that this coveted social license is being granted. The question as to whether the sustainability programs put in place are the right ones is tackled continuously by multilateral organizations such as IFC and industry groups like ICMM.  Instead, we will take a look at both the content of the dialogue between mining companies and their stakeholders and the venues of this dialogue. Today these venues are increasingly digital – video is the most watched medium and a variety of social media networks are the dominant distribution channels.


Maureen.Upton_7682.96dpiFounder of Resource Initiatives, Maureen Upton works with the world’s largest companies in the extractives sector, leading research projects, publishing reports and producing films, providing advice on topics such as economic impact, community development, environmental stewardship, and workplace safety and health. She leads workshops and speaks at conferences around the world.

Before founding Resource Initiatives in 2006, Ms. Upton served as Director of Public Affairs & Communications for Newmont Mining Corporation and was primarily responsible for the Asia-Pacific region. In Indonesia, she worked extensively on litigation and operational issues and interacted with multiple stakeholders.

Ms. Upton has held positions at Goldman Sachs in the Equities and Fixed Income, Currency & Commodities divisions of the firm. Prior to that engagement, she served as Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Communications for Chase Manhattan Bank and worked with corporate finance teams in the mining and metals and oil and gas industries, primarily in Latin America. While previously at Edelman Public Relations, she managed accounts with the Mexican government related to NAFTA and the Brazilian government related to privatization of energy, mining, and telecommunications assets.

At Janus Funds, one of the largest mutual fund companies in America, Ms. Upton served on the board and oversaw the management of funds in international equity and U.S. value categories. She was elected to the Council on Foreign Relations in 1994 and in 2004 was an appointee to the Compliance Advisory Panel in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Ms. Upton holds an MBA in Finance and a Master of International Affairs in Economic Policy from Columbia University in New York, as well as a Diploma de Estudios Hispanicos from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Based in Denver, Colorado, USA, Ms. Upton is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Memberships

  • Colorado Mining Association
  • Denver Petroleum Club
  • Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada
  • Northwest Mining Association
  • Society for Mining Metallurgy & Exploration (SME)
  • Women in Mining
  • Women’s Mining Coalition
  • Council on Foreign Relations

To contact Resource Initiatives, please call (303) 638-4193, or e-mail [email protected].