In recent decades, the mining industry has expanded globally especially in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. Mines often boost rural economies, but may have also negative impacts on environment and local livelihoods, such as tourism and reindeer herding. That is why acceptability and undeniable right to operate – the social licence (SL) to mine has become more and more important in mining related discussions. We examine empirically issues relating to SL in two mining projects in Finnish Lapland, Hannukainen in Kolari and Suurikuusikko in Kittilä. The main results emphasise the importance of transparency in mining operations and the continuity of communications with local stakeholders in building and maintaining the SL to mine. If the transparency of operations is lacking and issues come to publicity only via the media, this may affect the public image of a company and finally challenge its SL to operate and, in the long term, potentially effect the financing decisions of mining investors. We show that acquiring and keeping up a SL links not only to the developments in the actual mining site, but is also connected to processes taking place in other localities. These connections may emerge in various scales; between various local communities, mining companies and global financing principles, for instance. We use and propose ‘multi-sited ethnography’ as a method to describe and better understand complex linkages which may effect the SL to mine.