The financial services firm says in its ‘Tracking the Trends 2021' report that mining companies have generally played a positive community role during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing economically and socially during a time of uncertainty, safety concerns, and financial pressures.
But it cited a July 2020 World Economic Forum report that said a "trust deficit" was the most important risk facing the mining industry.
Deloitte's global sector leader Andrew Swart said on a webcast this week trust figured "prominently in assessing how the main trends for mining will play out in 2021".
"In many ways, an effective recovery hinges not only on citizens' ability to trust in government, communities' ability to trust in companies, and employees' ability to trust in their employers' leadership, but also on the trust of investors to deploy capital.
"Addressing this challenge is causing mining leaders to redefine their strategic objectives, reconnect and recommit to their stakeholders, and reset their priorities."
From an investor perspective, miners can win back confidence by finding new ways to deliver consistent shareholder returns, particularly as transactional activity picks up, and closing supply chain gaps the pandemic opened, according to Swart.
"To rebuild trust across their talent network, companies are redefining leadership, adapting the workplace culture, and recommitting to the goal of zero harm," said Swart.
Efforts to enhance their environmental, social, and governance performance were seeing miners get serious about decarbonisation, and finding competitive advantage in corporate governance frameworks.
More mining companies were also working to link social investments with sustainable economic and environmental outcomes, as well as playing an active role in the world's transition to a clean energy future.