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  • Responsible Raw Materials

Social Spotlight: Monica Ospina - Value of Trust in the Times of Covid-19

Updated: May 31, 2020

When working on stakeholder engagement and building trust in mineral projects, none of us consider a pandemic to be the real test to the Social License and trust the intangible asset to guarantee the restart of mineral activities. 

In cases where the absence of the state is normal, communities either trust or distrust the mineral exploration or mining company in their region.  

COVID19 not only tests the capacity and effective response of the health system and the governments’ Responsibility to Protect but also proves the approval of local stakeholders to mineral operations in their region.  Approval understood as the trust in the humanitarian aid will bring help, not pain, authenticity in the information shared, the entrance of community relations to their regions, and the hope to go back to work in a safe environment.   


Lifting the lockdown is becoming a political decision in the hands of presidents, governors, mayors, and councils, under the pressure of the people they represent.  Their approval or disapproval translates to land access for mineral exploration or restarting mining operations, here is when the Social License materializes in a yes or no answer.  

The presentation will open a discussion about the effectiveness of social management systems and stakeholder engagement as mechanisms to support operational efficiencies, in this case, restarting activities after a global pandemic.


Monica is a Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability expert with experience in the design and implementation of CSR strategies that support operational productivity while building trusting relationships with communities impacted by mineral exploration and mining operations. Her expertise in transforming conflict into development and human and social capital into value for investors has contributed to improving the perception of mining and the well being of communities across regions. As an author, Monica created the Local Community Procurement Program (LCPP), a sustainable supply chain model, awarded by the IFC-World Bank in 2012. She also has contributed to the IFC-World Bank’s Guide for the Early Stakeholder Engagement (published in 2015) as well as participated in discussion groups for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the RIO + 20 World Convention on Sustainable Development in 2012. Monica holds an M.A. in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster, and postgraduates in Sustainability Management from Harvard University and International Business Strategy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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