Socio-economic Impact Assessments
Roskill’s socio-economic impact assessments are designed to provide a strong evidence base regarding the contribution of mining, processing and downstream operations to a local economy. While direct employment figures are straightforward to obtain, Roskill’s impact studies seek to quantify not only direct effects, but also indirect contributions via supporting industries, local suppliers, income effects, and investments.
Our socio-economic research team can help assess the socio-economic profile of a specific operation or division, taking into account local economic contexts. Drawing on purchasing and procurement data – handled confidentially – Roskill’s proprietary models are able to evaluate the likely impact of such purchases on value addition, job generation, tax income, and investment at a local, provincial or national level.
While mining operations are comparatively capital-intensive and may only create limited number of direct vacancies, mines and their processing plants generally require significant inputs from other industries. Local procurement may include demand for steel and cement, personnel and office items, water and electricity, and services such as construction, transport, and financial and legal services.
Many of these sectors are much more labour-intensive than the mining operation itself, so that the presence of the mining company may account for a disproportionately large share of local employment. Adding to this, salaries in the mining industry are relatively high, and with workers spending part of their income in the local community, this generates a further indirect effect, boosting economic activity in the local district.
Roskill’s impact assessments can be applied to existing operations – to assist in negotiations with local governments and communities or in outreach activities – but are also of particular value to companies undertaking preparatory or feasibility studies.
Drawing on data from the feasibility study, Roskill’s models allow it to estimate the likely net impact of the operation on the local economy. To add further weight to its study, Roskill’s team can also undertake household or business-to-business surveys, to provide a stronger evidence base of the expected contribution that a new operation might make.
Socio-economic impact assessments can be undertaken either at a divisional or company level, or across an entire industry as a whole.
Roskill has undertaken industry studies on markets such as nickel, cobalt, chromium and antimony. In such studies, the socio-economic impact of a metal or mineral is represented not only by the role of the mining and processing sector itself, but also by the economic value and employment generated through the downstream use of the material, where much of the true socio-economic value may lie.
Roskill’s studies have thus far helped industry associations in educating legislators as to the economic value of their industries, assess the potential impact of new legislation, and support public outreach and business development activities.
A specific but particularly current application of Roskill’s socio-economic impact assessments is in the support of REACH activities.
Under the EU’s stringent legislation for the use of chemical substances, users, manufacturers and distributors of these substances must demonstrate an ability to control risks associated with handling such chemicals.
Where adequate control cannot be demonstrated to an adequate degree, as is often impossible, applicants must demonstrate that there are no suitable alternatives to the use of the substance, and that the socio-economic benefits of the use of the substance outweigh potential environmental and health risks.
Roskill’s socio-economic assessments can contribute to the socio-economic analysis required to obtain authorisation under this route. Its proprietary model is designed to assess both current socio-economic contributions, as well as the impact of a no-use or restricted-use scenario, as required for a successful authorisation.
Socio-economic studies are highly context-specific, and one size does not fit all. Roskill’s research team will be glad to discuss the specific needs and possibilities of the project to ensure the maximum benefit from the study and its usefulness to the industry. Please contact us for more information.