by Jan Boon
This book provides the results of nine case studies of the course of social events in mineral exploration projects (mostly in Latin America). The author concluded that, while each case is sui generis, the underlying sociological processes are the same. This made it possible to develop a generalized model for the course of social events during mineral exploration. It consists of seven stages: (i) arrival of the project; (ii) initial meanings, interpretations and decisions; (iii) real dialogue; (iv) building relationships; (v) change processes; (vi) new relationships and social structures and (vii) the course of social events and perceived benefits and harms. Stages (iii) => (iv) => (v) => (iii) form a continuous iterative cycle. Dialogue and relationships are at the heart of the model. The text describes five of the nine case studies in some detail and illustrates how sociology explains the sociological processes in these projects. These examples, together with the final chapter that discusses the implications, provide many practical pointers for all actors involved: industry, communities, NGOs, home governments and host governments.