Problems of the social non-acceptance of the mining industry (particularly development projects) is relatively new, so more widely discussed for a relatively short time. In this paper, an extensive review of worldwide literature on this topic has been presented with special regard to the specificity of the European Union countries, where the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) phenomenon is one of the key reasons for local community opposition. The problem is recognized mainly from the perspective of the mineral industry, but also from the point of view of government, NGOs or local communities. There are case studies, publications in the range of sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, geo-ethics, proposals for new analytical methods (for example multi-criteria and others) or effective solutions. The improvement in social acceptance for the mineral industry may be achieved by further development of technological, organizational and scientific methods which minimizes mining influences on the environment and society developing. Modern approach to social issues associated with mineral activity includes also strategies of bilateral communication, mediation/negotiation, cooperation between stakeholders to a larger extent then in the past. However, it is the continuous need of extensive, in-depth social debate on mineral development projects in the European Union, both in energetic and non-energetic branch.
Developing of large-scale lignite excavation can often generate socio-environmental conflicts between mining-energy companies and various stakeholders, such as local communities or ecological organizations. In this context indication of potential channels of communication with local communities’ is needed to increase the level of their satisfaction with own knowledge and to optimize the social dialogue. The paper presents the results of a questionnaire survey conducted in selected communities of the Łódź voivodeship where surface mining exists at present (Kleszczów) or will be developed soon (Złoczew). They were realized with the Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing on the representative groups of adults. The paper contains analysis of two selected closed-type questions: the first one concerned self-assessment of knowledge level of lignite mining, the second one - sources of information on mining activity. Previous media reports on mining activity in the examined areas were analysed, too. As it seems, various means of social communication should be used: television and radio are the major source of information for local communities, printing press and the Internet are important as well. A detailed set of communication channels and the content of individual messages should be carefully selected for specific target groups (depending on gender, age and education). It should be emphasized that a properly conducted public debate may prove to be one of the factors determining the success of mining-energy investments and sustainable development of some regions.
Selecting locations for lignite mining and power generation complexes has been the subject of intense controversy. As a result, there have been many conflicts in society due to environmental and economic concerns. This paper poses the question of how lignite surface mining affects local communities. These effects may be both negative and positive and some of them are intangible. It is very difficult to balance the pros and cons objectively as it depends on the assumed objectives and criteria of the analysis. Different social and economic structures in different communities, and various additional factors, are just some of the reasons why this balance may significantly differ around a country. The authors hold opposing views on the role of lignite in the energy mix and the balance of negative and positive effects that surface mining exerts on local communities. They agree, however, that the most important elements of the societal debate on lignite mining have not yet been adequately studied or presented in public discourse. The authors propose to introduce the procedure of Social Impact Assessment to the Polish legal system. This could be effective as a means to prevent many conflicts in the energy sector and be the best way to reach a compromise.