Por: Antonio Nieto, PhD. profesor y presidente de la JCI, Recursos y Reservas Minerales, Universidad de Wits, Johannesburgo y Juan Francisco Medina, MSc. Ingeniería de Minas, Desarrollo de Negocios, Compañía de Minas Buenaventura.AbstractThe instability caused by social conflict evidences serious problems of governance and has economic and social consequences that can affect the development of any country. The risk of social disruption could be minimized if, as a management policy, companies take preventive actions to avoid or reduce the probabilities of social confrontation. Social conflict in the mining industry have caused multi-millions of dollars in losses due to production delays, redesign of projects, material damage, and closing of mining operations. Additionally, prior to the development of any mining project, companies are responsible for obtaining approval from local communities, also called the social license to operate (SLTO). In order to secure the SLTO, companies often use the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy to deal with the existing and potential social risk. However, the CRS is limited by its incapacity to quantify risk, so the need for a socioeconomic risk index that takes quantifiable factors that can effectively manage and mitigate social conflict. Based on the analysis of this study, competition for the use of water, land and labor were identified as the major causes of social conflict in mining operations. This competition can be subdivided into consumption of the strategic resources and the level of interaction between mining operations and local communities. Index value results have been compared to real social cases of eight different gold mine operations around the world. This study is intended to present a new alternative to measure socioeconomic risk in order to prevent feasibility and financial failure of future mining investments.