Our presence in a community can span decades. Building and sustaining relationships based on mutual respect and trust is vital to not only the sustainability and success of our business, but also the ability to meaningfully contribute to the social and economic development of the host community. Relationships marked by conflict, on the other hand, are hard to repair and can negatively impact the business’s financials and reputation as well as the socio-economic development of the community.
Our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy outlines our commitment to building long-term relationships based on trust. This policy is supported by our Stakeholder Relationship Management Standard as well as our Social Baseline and Impact Assessment Standard, which details the minimum requirements to plan, manage and monitor our performance throughout the mine lifecycle.
Our social responsibility strategy guides our efforts to obtain and maintain long-term social acceptance over the mining lifecycle. The strategy seeks to provide the framework to align and enhance already existing best practices, focus on where improvement is most needed, and better integrate social responsibility – such as hiring and procurement in local communities – into the broader business.
Reflected in our policy and standards are the lessons and guidance from the Community Relationships Review (CRR), an independent global assessment of Newmont’s relationships with host communities. This report, which was published in 2009, was the first of its kind commissioned by a mining company that offered detailed, transparent and honest feedback from community stakeholders.
Among the lessons from the CRR is the importance of assessing the risks and building a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts our operations have on communities. Our updated standards detail the requirements for conducting and/or updating baseline studies and impact assessments that help inform our approach to working with communities to identify opportunities for socio-economic development and improve the communities’ long-term outlook. These assessments also inform our country risk management framework.
Most of these assessments are conducted by external, independent experts throughout the stages of our presence in a community and include extensive input and review from the community. Final reports are expected to be made public and available to local communities. Findings from the studies are addressed through our social management plans, which are regularly monitored and evaluated against objectives and requirements.
Addressing stakeholder concerns in a timely and effective manner is critical to avoiding conflict and building long-term relationships based on trust. All sites are required to maintain a complaints and grievances (C&G) register and ensure stakeholders are informed and trained on how to use our C&G mechanism, which is based on a three-tier system. Tier 1 complaints are those that can be resolved between Newmont and complainants without the need for external mediation and/or legal proceedings. These tend to be related to matters that we directly control. If a complaint is unable to be resolved in a timely manner or relies on local systems, it is escalated to tier 2 where an independent mechanism identified by the community – such as a local leader or committee – is used. Disputes that cannot be resolved by the parties involved – typically those that require legal intervention – are categorized as tier 3.
At the end of 2015, 100 percent of our sites and projects had a social impact assessment (SIA) in place. All sites – with the exception of the Phoenix operation in Nevada – have conducted an SIA within the last five years. Phoenix, which conducted a perception study in 2014, plans to conduct an SIA in 2016.
In 2015, we updated our complaints and grievances (C&G) process to categorize complaints in a consistent manner across all sites and to require those C&Gs that have – or potentially have – human rights implications to be categorized as such. Among our significant locations of operations, a total of 1,108 C&Gs were registered in 2015, and 1,059 were resolved during the year, including two that filed prior to 2015.
- While we made notable progress to improve our C&G process, we did not achieve our global external target for 100 percent of sites to resolve at least 87 percent of tier 1 C&Gs within 30 days.
- Of the 10 operating sites and two projects with C&G registers, three sites and one project had no formal complaints, five sites resolved 93 percent or more of tier 1 C&Gs within 30 days, while two operating sites and one project did not meet the target to resolve 87 percent of tier 1 C&Gs within 30 days.
- Of the total number of C&Gs, 94.8 percent of the complaints were tier 1, 3.8 percent tier 2 and 1.4 percent tier 3.
- The average resolution time for all C&Gs was 8.4 days.
|Region||Number||Resolved within 30 days|
- Compensation/accounts payable
- Blast event
- Business partners (contractors)
- Property/land access
- Workforce behavior
- Community investment
- Human rights
- Cultural/heritage sites
|Business partners (contractors)||148|
Regional community engagement highlights for 2015 include:
- In Ghana, the Ghana Environmental Protection Agency held public hearings to gather input and comments from community members on Newmont’s proposed Ahafo Mill Expansion.
- Newmont hosted faith-based leaders for site tours in Peru and Ghana, with a goal to better understand stakeholders’ perspectives on the positive and negative impacts of mining and to raise awareness of our sustainability efforts and commitments and performance.
- At our Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia, we conducted extensive engagement with employees and local community members to encourage civic participation while maintaining Company neutrality in advance of the regional elections that took place in December 2015.
- In Nevada, we engaged with federal, state and local government officials on our Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Program, which is designed to protect a broad range of local plant and animal species.
- To help resolve a complex land dispute in Peru, we brought in independent experts to form an advisory panel to evaluate compliance with international best practices and assess allegations of human rights violations.
- Surgold and members of the Pamaka community in Suriname met to discuss the establishment of a cooperation agreement that includes roles, responsibilities and practices regarding local employment and procurement; a complaints and grievances mechanism; environmental monitoring; communications; small-scale mining and health and safety matters; and a community development fund to promote socio-economic development.
We began implementation of our social responsibility strategy in 2015 and launched training in Ghana, Nevada, Suriname and Peru on dialogue techniques such as active listening and responding in ways to advance the conversation and interaction.
Demonstrating our commitment to continuous improvement in addressing concerns before conflicts arise, we established global external targets for complaints and grievances (C&G) for 2016 and 2017:
|Years||Target definition||Target for sites||Target for Newmont|
|2016||Percent of tier 1* C&Gs closed
(defined as handling complaints
that may be resolved between
the site and the complainants)
in a 30-day period
|90 percent||100 percent achievement of site targets|
|2017||93 percent||100 percent achievement of site targets|
|* Tier 1 complaints are those that can be resolved between Newmont and complainants without the need for external mediation and/or legal proceedings.|
To meet our 2016 C&G target, additional support will be provided, particularly to those sites that did not meet their 2015 target. We also will launch a social responsibility community of practice (COP) to facilitate the exchange of ideas and provide support across sites on a number of topics, including C&Gs.
In 2016, training will be conducted with teams on the ground that regularly engage with local stakeholders, as well as with members of senior management who are also often involved in these interactions.