sustainability

Environmental stewardship is central to our business.

We understand the impact our activities can have on the environment; our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy and environmental standards are designed to protect the environment and prevent – or otherwise minimize, mitigate and remediate – those impacts.

Partnerships with experts, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), regulators and communities also help inform our management systems to ensure they are implemented consistently and are effective at protecting our environment.

Our environmental stewardship policies and programs set standards of excellence with regard to a number of matters, including the items listed below.

 

Our management approach to environmental stewardship and the details of our performance are updated each year in our sustainability report, Beyond the Mine.

WaterEXPAND [ + ]

 

Water availability is one of the world’s most important sustainability issues.

For Newmont, access to water is critical during every stage of the mine lifecycle. Each site has different water needs and challenges, so our site-specific water management programs are based on extensive field data and monitoring, along with state-of-the-art modeling.

To responsibly manage our water use, much of the water used in our operations is treated and recycled. Community needs and protection are top priorities. In addition to extensive water quality monitoring, we have a number of programs in place to improve water quality and supply to communities near our operations.

AirEXPAND [ + ]

 

We understand that ensuring good air quality in and around our operations is critical to the health and safety of our employees and local communities. Each of our sites has monitoring and inspection programs in place to ensure the air our employees and neighbors breathe meets all air quality requirements.

We voluntarily hold our operations around the globe accountable to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ambient air quality standards at the property boundary, even in jurisdictions outside the U.S. where the laws and regulations have less protective requirements.

Energy and Climate ChangeEXPAND [ + ]

 

Mining is an energy-intensive industry that relies on fuel and electricity to operate. Our global carbon strategy includes measuring and publicly disclosing our energy use, as well as evaluating ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve energy efficiency.

Our programs include evaluating the use of biofuels and renewable energy sources – such as hydroelectricity, solar power and waste/biomass – to power our operations. To meet the growing need to operate in a carbon neutral manner, we develop and implement a number of carbon sequestration (offset) programs, such as investing in afforestation, to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

BiodiversityEXPAND [ + ]

 

Newmont’s operations span diverse ecosystems – from the Andes in Peru, to the rainforests of Indonesia and West Africa, to the deserts of Australia and the western United States. These areas boast rich mineral resources, along with important plant and animal species.

Understanding and managing the impacts of our activities on biodiversity, critical habitats and ecosystems – at every stage of the mine lifecycle – is an essential element of our sustainable development approach. We partner with international conservation organizations, academic institutions and communities to help inform our biodiversity management plans at our sites.

Waste ManagementEXPAND [ + ]

 

The safe and effective management of waste products is an essential component of Newmont’s responsible mining. The minerals we recover from ore bodies typically occur in low concentrations, so mining them generates a large volume of rock that remains after mineral processing, referred to as waste.

Newmont’s waste management is primarily land-based, but we also use a method called Submarine Tailings Placement (STP), which is considered the safest method for managing the disposal of tailings at our Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia. For both methods, Newmont conducts extensive monitoring to measure the environmental performance of our waste storage facilities. The results of the monitoring are reported on a regular basis to the appropriate regulatory entities.

Mercury and Cyanide ManagementEXPAND [ + ]

 

Today’s gold deposits tend to be “invisible,” meaning they have such low concentrations that chemical processes are the most effective and economical way of recovering the metal. While safer and more efficient than alternative chemical agents, using cyanide in gold processing can pose risks to human, animal and ecosystem health if not responsibly managed.

We are a signatory to the International Cyanide Management Code, and all of our sites are audited and certified by independent third parties to ensure that the use of cyanide in the processing of gold is managed in a manner that protects human health and the environment.

We are committed to minimizing mercury emissions using maximum achievable control technology, careful collection and storage at our own sites and retirement in accordance with global mercury treaties and the U.S. Export Ban. We do not use mercury in the mining process, but mercury naturally occurs in some ores. Newmont’s health and safety standards ensure that precautions are taken to prevent exposure and our Sustainability and External Relations Policy sets industry leading goals for responsible mercury management, including retiring from circulation all elemental mercury byproduct generated by our operations to prevent the mercury from reaching the artisanal and small-scale mining market.

ReclamationEXPAND [ + ]

 

Throughout the mine lifecycle we reclaim land and ecosystems that have been disturbed by our activities to a state that is compatible with traditional uses or provides sustainable benefits to local communities.

While reclamation is the most significant focus after a mine ceases operations, we also conduct concurrent reclamation that involves rehabilitating land while continuing to develop nearby mineral resources. Our concurrent reclamation practices minimize impacts to the environment and help us achieve post-closure reclamation goals in less time.