Over the past decade, high mineral and energy commodity prices have driven expansion of the extractive sector. Mineral and energy developments profoundly transform environments, communities and economies – and can often generate social conflict. This study seeks to answer the question: if the costs of conflict experienced by companies in the extractive industry were better understood, would relationships between companies and local communities receive greater priority and attention? Through in-depth interviews and empirical case analysis, the study explores the value at stake when companies in the extractive sector experience conflict with local communities. The study involved detailed case analysis of publicly available information regarding 50 situations of prolonged or otherwise significant company-community conflict, as well as 45 in-depth confidential interviews with individuals from, or with great experience in, the extractive industry. The research shows that most extractive companies do not currently identify, understand and aggregate the full range of costs of conflict with local communities. Although company-community conflict may generate the same broad effects as those caused by technical problems, contractual or regulatory disputes, or environmental or safety breakdowns (such as a reduction in or suspension of operations), it is typically not given equivalent attention or resources.