Failure by the resources industry to carry public opinion has resulted in poor outcomes, OceanaGold President Mick Wilkes told IMARC delegates.
Speaking at the conference Gala Dinner, Mr Wilkes said energy and mining companies had too often failed to win the hearts and minds of local communities. Worse, company mistakes had provided negative examples for the industry’s opponents to use – particularly on social media which now has a massive impact on public opinion.
He cited the coal seam gas industry as an example, saying its failure in these areas was a major factor contributing to Australia’s “diabolical” energy policy.
Mr Wilkes also urged miners to collaborate with each other and with suppliers to fill the research gap left by the scaling back of research departments in the big companies. While this had created opportunities for entrepreneurs, many of these did not have the financial backing or clout to commercialise good ideas. It would take collaboration by multiple mining companies and by suppliers to brig many of these to market, he said.
He talked of creating an “ecosystem” of companies, suppliers and research agencies to fill this gap.