- In 1962, Newmont revolutionized the gold mining industry with the world’s first discovery of submicroscopic or “invisible gold.”
- Newmont helped found the ICMM, promoting sustainable development and social responsibility in mining.
Our Values Features
Index of Features
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Focusing on the Ultimate Goal: Safety
Processes and systems alone will not create a safe work environment. Individuals have to take personal responsibility for ensuring their workplaces are safe if everyone is going to return home safe, every day.
A stark reminder of the personal aspects of safety was the death of Pak Irawan, a forklift operator at our Batu Hijau operation in Indonesia. He died on March 15, 2011 in a warehouse accident. A loyal and valued employee for 12 years, he is survived by his wife, Ibu Hadiatullah, and daughter, Khadiratunnisa.
“Whenever an employee dies, the loss that is felt by surviving family members and friends is shared throughout Newmont and the community,” said Mike Byrne, vice president, Health, Safety and Loss Prevention & Security. “It has such a strong ripple effect. It reminds us that each of us must take personal responsibility for our safety and the safety of our co-workers.”
Those ripples are why Newmont’s Safety Journey became personal this year with “My Safety Journey.” During the first quarter, safety leaders from Operations and Exploration gathered together at four regional safety summits.
The interactive summits were designed to integrate our Safety Taskforce’s recommendations into the My Safety Journey program, and included line managers, contractors and executive management. Safety Ambassadors representing HSLP, Mine Operations, Maintenance and Contractors planned and facilitated the summits.
Additionally, the summits focused on helping attendees discover and understand “Safety Leadership and Accountability” by providing practical skills and tactics. Attendees examined how a safety leader should behave. Ambassadors also discussed the unspoken barriers – the “elephants in the room” – that prevent people from speaking up about unsafe behaviors.
A huge, inflatable elephant illustrated this point at the Africa summit. As the discussion continued and the “elephants in the room” were exposed, the elephant proceeded to slowly deflate. While this was not planned, it was a humorous and appropriate end to at least one elephant.
At the end of the summits, participants identified what they could do to further their personal safety journey and made specific commitments to actions they would take in 2011.
Inspiration from guest speakers re-energized the safety leaders. Dr. Ric Charlesworth, coach of the successful Australian hockey team, spoke about visualizing the place you want to be. “If you aim low, you will probably hit a low point, so make sure you aim high for success,” he said.
The Nevada and Hope Bay summits in North America opened with an inspiring monologue and slideshow by retired U.S. Navy Captain Charlie Plumb, Vietnam War veteran and prisoner of war. Plumb's plane was shot down over Vietnam, and he was captured, tortured and imprisoned in an 8 foot x 8 foot cell for nearly six years. He recounted moments as a survivor in a squalid prison camp. His key message was that you can direct the outcomes from different circumstances in your life by taking personal responsibility for those things over which you have control. He reminded summit attendees that the factors upon which their safety depends are all within their power to control.
The Next Step in the Journey
Every employee and a number of our contractors will have had the opportunity to participate in a My Safety Journey workshop during 2011. Each of them will make a personal commitment to safety and actions he or she will take. Many of our mine site teams also will begin to work on action plans based upon the findings of the Safety Taskforce.
“Our vision is to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries for our business, and we must be relentless in pursuing this goal,” said Richard O’Brien, president and CEO. “I know we can do it. We have plenty of days – and weeks – where no one gets hurt. If we can do it for a day or a week, we can do it every day.”
September 6, 2011
The Evolution of Environmental and Social Responsibility
At Newmont, we often discuss what we need to do to keep our company strong – not just for the next few years, but for generations to come. Inevitably, we return to this fact: our viability as a business depends on our ability to develop, operate and close mines in a manner that provides shared value for the company as well as for the communities that host our mining operations.
It is essential for Newmont to deliver strong financial returns on our investments. We can only achieve this shared value by:
· Creating and maintaining high standards of performance for protecting the environment;
· Safeguarding the health, human rights and well-being of our employees and communities; and,
· Creating sustainable, long-term economic and social opportunities in the areas where we operate.
The story of environmental and social responsibility (ESR) at Newmont is one of innovation, evolution and a constant, long-term effort to be an industry leader in how we engage with local communities and act as stewards of the environment. We hold ourselves to standards higher than what the law requires. We recognize that the collective environmental and social consciousness within society continues to increase along with mining industry performance expectations.
Environmental and social practices in the mining industry have undergone a tremendous evolution over the past three decades. The concept of “responsible mining” was not in the vocabulary of the industry 30 years ago. The prevailing view at the time was
that mining was essential and society needed to simply accommodate the industry because of its importance. In subsequent years, this perspective has been debunked.
While mining is still viewed as an essential industry, it also needs to assume responsibilities for protecting human health and the environment. Mining must create shared value with the communities that host mining operations. Newmont’s Values were established with this understanding in mind, and we strive to demonstrate leadership in social responsibility and act as environmental stewards.
As recently as the late 1980s, operating responsibly simply meant complying with established laws and regulations, which were solely focused on environmental protection. Often, these regulations were not what we would consider today as scientifically sound. As the science studying environmental impacts progressed, so have regulations and industry best practices.
In the late 1980s, it became more common to approach mining from a life-cycle view to understand how to integrate design, construction, operation and closure of mining operations. During the 1990s, the science behind environmental protection helped our practices evolve into lined tailings dams, water treatment facilities, and highly efficient and effective air pollution controls. We no longer prepare for the “25-year storm event,” but instead, prepare for the 100-year storm, or even the 500-year storm.
In the past, most of the laws in place were focused on environmental protection. There was little focus on the social aspects of our business. Community development consisted primarily of building additional housing and schools to support the influx of people employed by the mine.
Society’s expectations changed in this area, mirroring the evolution in expectations for environmental protection. Rather than expecting the industry to simply build a school or police station, society began seeking evidence that our presence in an area directly benefits surrounding host communities – an idea Newmont has termed “shared value.”
As our stakeholders have become more organized and well informed, they have begun to demand assurances that we can provide community development that improves the lives of people living near our operations.
Today, Newmont participates in several global initiatives and codes of practice that establish standards and ground rules for strong environmental, social and ethical performance across the mining industry. Most of these have been developed with input from many stakeholder groups, including some of our harshest critics. Participation in these external initiatives improves our transparency, builds credibility with external stakeholders and positions Newmont as an industry leader.
This innovation and evolution will continue into the future, as environmental standards and the concept of shared value with local communities continuously shifts to meet the needs of our changing world. The concept of transparency and the issue of global climate change are examples of this evolution in action. These issues have grown in importance over the last several years. They have become two of the key themes and challenges driving Newmont’s ESR efforts in 2011 and beyond.
What does not change is the theme of personal responsibility. Each and every Newmont employee has ownership of our performance in social responsibility, environmental protection and safety. While the definitions of these terms will change, a constant in the future will be the importance of each individual at Newmont in accomplishing these goals.
September 6, 2011
Yanacocha Team Reaches Safety Milestone
Minera Yanacocha’s Project Development Group reached a safety milestone after working 10 million man hours (since December 2008) without a lost time accident.
“I want to thank everyone for the excellent management of safety and loss prevention in our area, which is reflected in the achievement of this significant milestone and the very good performance indicators achieved over the past two years,” said David Lee, project development manager. “I urge everyone to continue striving to improve our safety management, and I challenge you to maintain and improve our results going forward.”
Lee encouraged the group to continue conducting monthly safety attitude stops, reducing traffic incidents and reporting all incidents, as well as correcting the root causes of these incidents and accidents.
September 6, 2011
My Safety Journey: Practice Pays Off
By Jason Mayne, mine rescue captain/co-trainer, Leeville underground mine
Editor's note: Newmont would like to hear your personal account of valuable lessons, best practices and safety reminders. Please e-mail your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It often seems that the stories we hear the mining industry tell are of tragedies rather than everyday heroism. Here's one story that Newmont can be proud to share.
In mid-November 2010, Leeville underground miners reported a truck fire to mine dispatchers, who immediately followed Newmont's well-rehearsed emergency evacuation and notification plan. Four underground mine rescue and firefighting teams, mine management and federal officials were notified. Within 20 minutes, approximately 75 underground miners were evacuated and accounted for.
After my five-man team arrived, we discovered an electrical fire had started on a 30-ton haul truck, located nearly 1,500 feet below the surface. The fire spread to one of the truck's 7-foot tires, which was unreachable. With temperatures climbing close to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, the fire emitted dangerous gases and threatened ground stability.
To our advantage, the 4-foot flames had burned through a nearby polyethylene water line, which sprayed water onto part of the truck, but not to the core of the fire. Also, air and smoke exhausted up an open stope (large opening to the next level up) behind the truck making it easier for my team to see and approach the vehicle.
Our first mission was to systematically explore the area and extinguish the fire using dry chemicals. After discharging five, 20-pound extinguishers, the fire continued. We were then ordered to stop and retrieve a wheeled high-expansion foam generator, which sprays high volumes of rapidly expanding nonflammable foam to smother the fire.
We set up the generator and erected an 8-foot rubberized canvas air curtain to stop the foam from flowing away from the fire. We then spent the remainder of our nearly two and a half hours underground applying all 10 gallons of foam concentrate. But it was not enough to extinguish it. inside newmont
Frustrated and exhausted, we were returned to our fresh air base (the place where the command center and underground team coordinate), to be relieved by a second five-man team. We briefed that team's captain and the new team proceeded underground with 40 gallons of foam concentrate.
Nearly an hour later, after being completely doused in foam, the fire continued to burn because the truck's metal had grown too hot for the foam to extinguish the burning rubber.
This forced us to make a difficult choice. Typically, using water to douse the fire can be dangerous because it produces steam, which can burn the rescue team. Water also rapidly cools rock around a fire which can weaken ground conditions. But because the foam had failed, we weighed the risks and asked for permission to use water. The command center agreed and, fortunately, it took less than 30 minutes to finally put the fire out.
Normally this calls for celebration, but the second team captain noticed during a routine team check that the oxygen level of one member's breathing apparatus had dropped faster than normal. So that team immediately returned to the surface, and a fresh third team went down to put out hot spots and continue the investigation. In all, it took 30 mine rescue members wearing 4-hour re-breather apparatuses to control the fire while simultaneously mapping all conditions underground.
I was pleased to see how well we executed our response to the fire thanks to the comprehensive training and mock drills we routinely participate in. Being involved in emergency response and rescue for more than 15 years, I've witnessed many incidents. This was by far the most smoothly executed event I've seen.
This outcome goes to show that training, planning, good leadership and team work do pay off. The true success story is that no one was injured, minimal equipment was damaged, and the mine closed for only one shift.
April 18, 2011
Learning from Potential Fatalities
At Newmont, commitment to safety starts at the top. Any time a serious mine accident or incident occurs that could have seriously injured an employee or contractor, president and CEO Richard O'Brien wants to know how it happened.
The intent is not to punish those involved, but to better understand the root cause(s) to prevent other similar events from occurring.
When potential fatal occurrences (PFOs) do occur, O'Brien convenes a conference call with the Regional Leadership Team and site personnel involved – including supervisors and business partners. Brian Hill, executive vice president of Operations and Guy Lansdown, executive vice president of Discovery and Development participate in the meeting as well. In 2010, O'Brien dedicated more than 40 hours to related calls.
When a PFO occurred last year at Newmont Waihi Gold, general manager of Operations Glen Grindlay saw firsthand the value of having such a high-level investigation.
The PFO involved a runaway underground loader. The remote loader retrieval hook inadvertently activated, disabling the vehicle's brakes, steering and hydraulic controls. Fortunately, the loader did not run through the nearby workshop, and no one was hurt.
The incident was initially thought to be caused by human error or a device failure. By following the process put in place to investigate the causes of PFOs, the problem was found to be an alteration to the retrieval hook by the equipment manufacturer that was not communicated to the operators.
Reviewing an incident with the CEO can be intimidating, and there was some anxiety among Glen's team going into the PFO call. But Grindlay recalled this discussion was conducted professionally, without assigning blame and with the sole intent of learning from the event.
"I have no doubt that the thoroughness of our investigation was in part due to the pending executive review of the PFO documentation," he said. "It benefitted those on-site to be exposed to such a diligent review process and to the level of commitment to safety that was demonstrated by having Richard on the call."
Newmont's Health, Safety and Loss Prevention team has tracked PFOs for years to identify critical casual factors of high-potential events. At a recent employee Town Hall meeting, O'Brien explained that he and the leadership team believed that getting into the details was important when safety was involved.
"Leadership for safety really emanates from one person at Newmont, and that person is me," he said. "I see these calls as an opportunity to listen and learn. It comes down to creating a culture where we're willing to talk about events openly, learn from them and put what we learn into action. That's the only way to achieve our ultimate goal of no fatalities and no serious injuries at Newmont."
April 18, 2011
My Safety Journey Unveiled: Moving from Process to a Personal Commitment
We began Our Safety Journey in 2009. This initiative is part of our Mission to deliver on our plans in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner.
The journey is a tool that assists regions, sites and teams in assessing their progress toward integrating safety into everything we do. It allows us to rate ourselves and our safety practices on a scale ranging from "awareness" to "integration."
We've made great progress, and this year the Safety Journey becomes personal. The introduction of "My Safety Journey" shifts the focus from a function and department effort, to one that engages employees at all levels to improve their own safety attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. It poses the question, "Why do I want to go home safe?"
This personal focus on safety leadership, risk behaviors, communication, coaching and personal commitments will empower Newmont to advance towards "integration."
Taking safety beyond policies and procedures and making it personal is Newmont's chief executive officer's number one priority.
"We will be relentless in our pursuit of providing a safe and healthy workplace for all," said Richard O'Brien. "We do this because there is nothing more personal or important than safety."
"My Safety Journey" was piloted in the Asia Pacific region during 2010, and more than 40 safety ambassadors from all functional areas and levels attended training in Denver, Colorado in January 2011. The next stop in the journey will be the Regional Safety Summits starting with Perth, Australia. By the end of 2011, every employee will have had an opportunity to participate in a workshop and to make their personal commitment to safety.
April 18, 2011
Nevada Achieves ISO Certification
Congratulations to Newmont Nevada operations, which recently became ISO 14001:2004 certified after meeting the requirements for robust environmental management systems. Through a series of external audits, all employees proved that their management systems prevented negative impacts to land, air and water, and complied with environmental laws and regulations.
April 18, 2011
A Workplace Without Injury
Although already recognized as a leader in safety within the mining industry, Newmont is a company that strives for continuous improvement. Ours is an industry in which significant and unacceptable levels of risk present daily, on-the-job challenges.
Our focus on improvement led to the appointment of a Safety Task Force, comprised of eight Newmont leaders and two external subject matter experts. Charged with researching new ways of eliminating workplace fatalities and serious injuries, the Task Force developed a strategy and plan to break through Newmont's current safety "performance plateau."
The Safety Task Force's first focus was to conduct a global survey that would provide a baseline of the company's safety culture: 67 percent of our workforce participated in the survey. The high response rate and the survey findings indicate that our employees and contractors assume a high degree of personal accountability for their safety and that of their co-workers and vice versa.
In the survey, employees also challenged Newmont to address less-favorable safety perceptions. They asked to be more engaged and involved in future site safety programs. Task Force members have listened intently to this feedback and are working on strategies and recommendations that will not only address any concerns expressed by the organization, but also further support and strengthen Newmont's safety culture.
Other Safety Task Force initiatives include:
- Evaluating recent accident trends and patterns;
- Identifying behaviors that help improve safety outcomes at all levels;
- Partnering with contractors and the community to make progress on safety;
- Launching a health, safety and loss prevention process, tools and technology review;
- Benchmarking safety standards and performance
- metrics with recognized leaders in our industry; and,
- Engaging employees in the development of targeted
- activities and actions that will accelerate our transformation to the "ownership" level of our Safety Journey model.
"Some might argue that a company as large as Newmont, involved in a business as risky as mining, should accept fatalities and injuries as an unfortunate part of the mining business," said Richard O'Brien, Newmont's president and CEO. "Our management team wholeheartedly rejects this notion and is fully committed to making Newmont the first mining company to prove this argument wrong."
November 30, 2010
Six Million Man Hours of Safety
The Minera Yanacocha security department, comprised of 48 employees and 256 contractors, demonstrated its commitment to safety by working six million man hours without a lost-time accident. Lee Langston (center), regional security director, Newmont South America, proudly holds a plaque given in recognition of the department's achievement.
November 30, 2010
Safety Starts in the Classroom
Making safety personal for mine engineering students increases the chance that they will enter the workforce with zero tolerance for incidents. While this concept sounds simple, ingraining mine safety at the university level is not widespread.
During Montana Tech's homecoming weekend, Newmont took our Safety Journey message to the school with the goal of reinforcing the importance of a safe work environment among students and faculty. Marc LeVier, senior director of Metallurgical Research and Development, and Jack Tryon, safety officer for Metallurgical Services, inspected the school's metallurgical lab and use of personal protective equipment. While there, they also lectured about proactively identifying and remedying potential accidents – before they occur.
Newmont also sponsored a visit by Chad Hymas, considered by the Wall Street Journal as one of the world's most inspirational speakers, who gave motivational presentations as part of the homecoming festivities. Hymas spoke 11 times that weekend, inspiring roughly 300 community members, Montana Tech alumni and the school's athletic teams. During these presentations, Hymas spoke about what is possible when "you take the time to do things right."
"This experience will improve safety throughout our industry, no matter who the students go on to work for," LeVier said. "We received tremendous community response and gratitude for making this investment in our future workforce."
LeVier hopes Newmont and other mining companies will continue teaching safety to mining students worldwide. Bernie Hudson, manager, HSLP systems, firmly agrees with this approach.
"The future of mining lies within our coming generations," Hudson said. "It is absolutely imperative for us to emphasize the importance of a safe work culture early and to develop our future leaders so they understand what demonstrating leadership in safety is all about."
November 30, 2010