We recognize our role in addressing the global challenge of climate change. Our operations run on fossil fuels to extract and transport ore, and electricity to run large processing and milling facilities. The cost to meet our energy needs is around 20 percent of our total costs applicable to sales (CAS), and extreme climate-related events – such as drought, extreme storms and wildfires – present risks to our business. Another driver for energy efficiency is that our energy intensity – the amount of energy consumed per production unit – typically increases as ore grades decrease and we mine deeper ore. Creating long-term value requires responsible energy use, improved efficiencies and, where there is a business case, options for fuel switching and renewables.
Our commitment to efficiently manage our global energy consumption to reduce our carbon footprint while exploring and developing renewable energy and low-carbon opportunities is stated in our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy.
To realize this commitment, our global energy and climate change strategy takes a strategic, but operationally driven, approach to managing threats and opportunities and preparing the business for climate change impacts. The strategy‘s objectives are:
- Ensure a stable, reliable, secure and cost-effective energy supply for our operations;
- Achieve sustainable cost and efficiency improvements;
- Reduce our carbon footprint through renewable energy, energy efficiency strategies and carbon offsetting;
- Adapt to a changing climate; and
- Collaborate internally and engage externally on energy policy frameworks that support an effective transition to a low-carbon economy.
Our Global Energy and Climate Change Team (GECCT) – which includes representatives from each region and various key functions – leads the efforts to implement the strategy. Regional and site energy and climate plans will detail the process to reduce energy-related costs and GHG emissions while helping mitigate risks related to energy security, supply and cost.
As an ICMM member, we support the organization’s statement on climate change, which affirms members’ support for a global agreement on climate change and a price on carbon and other market mechanisms designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage innovation.
We measure and annually report our global GHG emissions data – which is independently assured in this report – to the CDP, which asks the world’s largest companies to account and report their GHG emissions and describe their climate change governance and strategy, management of risks and opportunities and management of GHG emissions.
Total energy consumption decreased 9 percent in 2015 largely due to generating less coal-fired power at our Nevada TS Power Plant. Newmont consumed 28 percent less energy generated from coal compared to the previous year. Lower utilization of coal-generated energy is expected to continue due to efforts to reduce GHG emissions under the 2015 landmark Paris climate accord. Additionally, propane consumption significantly decreased due to switching from propane to natural gas at our Leeville operation in Nevada. Total natural gas consumption in Nevada remained steady due to less usage at our Carlin operations.
|Year||Total site-generated electricity consumed||Total grid electricity (indirect energy generation)|
Because our total energy consumption can vary due to factors such as new mines and divested assets, we report our energy intensity. We calculate energy intensity as the amount of energy needed per tonne of ore mined, and we believe this is a meaningful metric to track the energy efficiency of our operations. We are reporting data for five years. However, given our understanding of the GHG Protocol Initiative’s Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, and improvements in both our understanding of the factors affecting this metric and the data quality, we consider 2012 as the base year.
|Year||GJ/tonne of ore mined|
Total GHG emissions were comparable to the prior year. The decrease in emissions at our TS Power Plant was offset by an increase in emissions at our Batu Hijau operation in Indonesia. Batu Hijau’s emissions in the prior year were lower because operations were temporarily suspended for three months in 2014 due to copper concentrate export restrictions.
|Year||million tonnes CO2e|
We calculate GHG intensity as the amount of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted per tonne of ore mined. Our Global Energy and Climate Change Team (GECCT) will continue to assess the data and improve our understanding of factors – such as new assets and operating efficiency programs – that affect this metric.
|Year||Tonnes CO2e/tonne of rock mined|
Newmont does not use any ozone-depleting substances (ODS), identified as such in the appendices of the Montreal Protocol, at any of our operations. All sites report the use of ODS refrigerant substitutes R-134a and R-410a for cooling system maintenance.
In 2015, the GECCT engaged with functions and regions across the organization to develop the global energy and climate change (E&CC) strategic framework and implementation plan, which was used to create energy and climate change strategies for each region. These strategies include establishing baseline data; identifying key risks, including new regulatory requirements and extreme weather phases like El Niño, and opportunities, such as sites located in areas with renewable energy development potential; and developing site action plans. One notable change being evaluated is adding the cost of carbon when evaluating the impact of GHG emissions on projects.
As part of Full Potential – Newmont’s global business improvement program that focuses on continuous improvement – a number of energy efficiency and GHG reduction efforts are being undertaken. With diesel fuel contributing to around one-third of our GHG emissions, in 2015 we commenced testing of Blutip power technology to improve the fuel efficiency of haul trucks at our Boddington, Ahafo and Twin Creeks operations. Field tests at Boddington showed fuel and corresponding GHG emission reductions of around 6 percent and the potential to reduce associated particulate air emissions as the fuel is more completely combusted.
We also completed the analysis on constructing a plant to convert natural gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for use in our haul trucks at our Nevada operations. While the project is not economically feasible at this time, we will continue to monitor this option due to the potential for LNG to reduce the sites’ GHG emissions by 30 percent or more.
In early 2015, the government of Ghana imposed electric power load-shedding requirements on all power consumers, including businesses, due to extreme power shortages. We engaged with the Ministry of Power’s National Load Shed Management Committee in collaboration with the Ghana Chamber of Mines to reduce load-shedding mandates on the mining industry. The Committee allowed us to swap power between our Ahafo and Akyem operations, which enabled Newmont to comply with the 33 percent reduction in power usage at the mines. Additionally, we later negotiated a three-year take-or-pay power contract with the Volta River Authority (VRA) to supply 100 percent of our power needs, except during load-shedding periods in which the VRA will supply at least 90 percent. The new contract, as well as backup power capacity units installed at Akyem during 2015, are designed to prevent disruptions in power supply at both Ahafo and Akyem.
In Nevada we completed construction on a new natural gas pipeline that carries natural gas from the Ruby Pipeline to our Leeville underground operations, replacing the use of bulk propane. This switch is expected to reduce Leeville’s carbon footprint as combustion of natural gas results in 16 percent less carbon dioxide emissions per energy unit versus propane.
Execution against our global energy and climate change strategy will be a multi-year effort involving external expertise as well as internal capability.
Implementation of site action plans, the development of region-specific numeric targets, and monitoring and reporting on our progress against the strategy are expected to begin in 2016. Once targets are established and finalized in 2016, we will begin to measure against them in 2017 and externally report our performance in our 2017 global sustainability report, which we will publish in early 2018. The cost of carbon analysis will be piloted in 2016.
We will continue to study renewable and clean energy options that have potential to reduce our GHG emissions. Some of the more promising options include HDRD (hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel) – which is a fuel source made from waste and bioproducts – and micro-hydro in remote areas.
We commit to work alongside nations and companies around the world to explore ways to reduce our fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions, increase our use of renewables and improve our energy efficiency.