Rebuilding trust in mining despite 50% believing it is illegal in Latin America

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Latin American society has gone from seeing mining as a synonym for prosperity to questioning its environmental impact. According to the “Mining in Latin America: A chance to carve a new path” report by LLYC’s Deep Learning team, which analyzed 1.4 million messages across ten countries in the region to understand the perception of the sector, 50% of mentions refer to illegal activities.

The report suggests that changing the narrative, humanizing the discourse, and moving away from the cliché of sustainability are some of the keys for the extractive industry to improve its image and project its value.

Key insights:

1. Illegal mining leads the conversation: 50% of the public openly discusses this subject, linking it to the mining industry in general.

2. Two protagonists unwittingly fuel negative conversations: governments and the mining industry unintentionally contribute to the negativity surrounding the sector, perpetuating negative stereotypes.

3. The environment as a political banner. The environmental impact of mining is a key electoral argument and management crusade for local and national governments.

4. The industry communicates in closed circles: the same group of individuals participate in this conversation, leading to limited impact and negative sentiment in other spheres.

5. Latin-America-specific circumstances add to the stigma: corruption, violence,and  drug trafficking, among other issues, plague the mining industry conversation.

6. Sustainable mining, not enough of an antidote. Sustainable mining, which accounts for only 2% of the total conversation, has not been sufficient in balancing the negative conversation surrounding the industry’s reputational liability.

“The findings demonstrate the complexity of the challenges facing the mining industry in Latin America in terms of public perception,” says Dario Alvarez, CEO of LLYC USA. “It is evident that the industry needs a strategic approach to tackle these issues and efficiently communicate its contribution to sustainable and responsible development in the region. This can be achieved through several key factors that we highlighted in our recent report.”

The report also suggests that the industry can improve its image and project its value by adopting a proactive communication approach, activating different channels, and addressing all audiences, including detractors. 

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