Social license to operate is frequently discussed in conjunction with the operation of mining projects. But is there a role for mineral exploration companies to play in supporting greater trust and accountability within the sector? And how can that be accomplished given the lean staffing, lack of revenues, and dependence on equity investment of most explorers? This presentation will discuss the approach of Erdene Resource Development Corporation (Erdene) – a Canadian resource exploration company focussing on precious and base metals exploration in Mongolia –to create and share value in the communities around its newly discovered Bayan Khundi gold project. The presentation will offer suggestions for how exploration companies could maximize the benefits of the mine life cycle for host nations and affected communities, including ways to integrate the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into operational strategies. Erdene’s plans to develop cost effective water and energy infrastructure that maximizes benefits for herders, nearby communities, and governments will be highlighted.