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UCL Launches New MSc Programme on Global Management of Natural Resources

Published: Jan 19, 2016 5:07:52 AM

UCL Australia Graduation 2015

Published: Dec 3, 2015 1:33:45 AM

Santos Scholarship 2016

Published: Sep 22, 2015 2:09:55 AM


UCL Australia
Torrens Building
220 Victoria Square
Adelaide, South Australia, 5000

Tel: +61 8 8110 9960
Fax: +61 8 8212 3039

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Research at UCL Australia

UCL School of Energy and Resources

Research in the School of Energy and Resources focuses on both the upstream and downstream development of energy and resources, covering a wide range of disciplines - from engineering and economics to environmental science and law. 

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Mullard Space Science Laboratory

The Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) is a world-leading research organisation delivering a broad science programme that is underpinned by a strong capability in space science instrumentation, space-domain engineering, space medicine, systems engineering and project management.

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International Energy Policy Institute

The International Energy Policy Institute (IEPI) was created to address key policy issues in the mineral, energy and resources industries through intensive and innovative research.

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2014 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report cover

Read about all departmental research in the 2014 Annual Report.

Social Licence to Operate - How to Address the Three Eyed Fish

Joseph Doleschal-Ridnell

Joseph Doleschal-Ridnell BLLP, BIS (Hons)

Project submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc (Energy and Resources), UCL School of Energy and Resources, Australia


The social licence to operate is said by many in industry to be nearing the importance of the legal licence given by regulators to explore and mine endowments. This spoken importance is not, however, matched with rigorous methodological analysis of what obtaining and demonstrating a social licence to operate constitutes. Does it require one to consider the social utility of a mining development? Must all possible stakeholders have their views consulted and incorporated? Are all views considered equal, or are the loudest stakeholders given the most attention and companies with superior financial resources most likely to have their social licence obligations met? Will the emergence of the social licence to operate alter the status quo, or is it merely a change in semantics? With specific focus on the uranium industry, this dissertation explores a number of different understandings of the social licence and promotes a number of ways that it can be obtained and demonstrated. If the social licence is to develop as a concept in itself rather than a self-serving catchphrase, a number of conceptual ambiguities must be reconciled and an objective methodology developed. This dissertation begins such a process.