Biodiversity

Approach

As a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), we commit to not explore or mine in world heritage sites, which are considered to be of outstanding global value. We also comply with all regulations and requirements within any geographically defined areas that are designated, regulated or managed as protected areas.

We currently have mining operations in regions that have been identified by Conservation International as biodiversity hotspots – namely, the Tropical Andes (Peru), the Guinean Forests of West Africa (including Ghana) and Southwest Australia. Within these hotspots, limited portions of one operation – Yanacocha in Peru – are located in a key biodiversity area as defined by Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) and Birdlife International. However, the mine site is located at an elevation above where the bird habitat is found.

Location and size of Newmont’s operations in relation to key biodiversity areas
Operation Key biodiversity area (KBA) Position relative to KBA Size of operational site (km2) Ecological sensitivity Partners/
collaborators
Mitigation plan

Yanacocha in Peru

Rio Cajamarca IBA

Contains portions of

63

IBA and AZE site for grey-bellied comet

 

Frequent biological monitoring assessments; however, no assessments have identified the presence of the grey-bellied comet in more than 20 years.

Boddington in Western Australia

Birdlife International "Endemic Bird Area of Southwest Australia"

Contains portions of

92

Black cockatoo habitat

Murdoch University

Working with Murdoch University on research to restore black cockatoo feeding habitats at mine sites within the Jarrah forest and, more generally, in landscapes throughout southwestern Australia.

Akyem in Ghana

Ajenua Bepo Forest Reserve (not KBA but habitat for species)

Contains portions of

20

Habitat for IUCN red-listed tree species C. boxianna (endangered)

Conservation Alliance

Forestry Research Institute of Ghana

Partnering with Conservation Alliance and Forestry Research Institute of Ghana to implement critical species management program (CSMP) for C. boxianna and other nationally important species. Established nurseries to raise seedlings to plant at various locations within the mine area.

Merian in Suriname

Upland and lowland rainforest

Contains portions of

34

Habitat for IUCN red-listed tree species Virola surinamensis (endangered) and Vouacapoua americana (critically endangered)

 

Conducted independent study to evaluate biodiversity offset options and began implementation of one option involving the reforestation of artisanal and small-scale mining impacted lands within the Merian mining concession.

Nevada mining and rangeland operations

Sagebrush habitat

Contains portions of

Varies*

Habitat for Greater Sage-grouse and other sagebrush obligate species such as mule deer, and Lahontan cutthroat trout

Among the many partners:

Nevada Department of Wildlife and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service

Natural Resources Conservation Service

University of Nevada

The Nature Conservancy

Trout Unlimited

 

Developed and commenced implementation of the Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Program – a landscape-level, multi-species conservation effort – comprising planning, monitoring and adaptive management; rangeland research; partnerships; and conservation credits. This historic private-public partnership sets forth an approach to conservation of Newmont’s owned and managed rangelands to conserve biological diversity, offset mineral exploration and mine-related impacts, and generate conservation credits.

* In Nevada, the operational size in relation to KBAs varies due to the fact that in addition to mining operations, Newmont’s rangeland operations manage 750,000 acres of private land and 1.5 million acres of grazing allotments on public lands in Nevada.

Partnerships with conservation organizations and regulatory agencies are a key element of our approach, and participating in industry initiatives helps us improve our biodiversity performance and identify leading practices that we can integrate into our approach.

We play a leading role on the ICMM Biodiversity Steering Committee and are a member of the Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) Ecosystem Services Working Group. We are also a founding member of the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI), a partnership among the mining, oil and gas, and banking sectors to develop and share best practice in biodiversity and ecosystem services.

2016 Performance

During the year, we held workshops where all sites developed biodiversity action plans (BAPs) for existing operations. The workshops included a cross-functional group of engineers and scientists and emphasized areas of importance in addition to threatened and endangered species. The BAPs increased our focus on ecosystem services, which identified several new key biodiversity values (KBVs) at many of our sites.

Newmont’s Group Executive Scott Miller chaired the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI) on behalf of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and led a session at the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Conference (WCC). The WCC is held every four years and brings together governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses and communities to discuss pressing conservation issues. Feedback from the session included recommendations from NGOs for companies to focus more on outcomes, increase reporting transparency, develop meaningful metrics, ensure data is accessible to external stakeholders, and incorporate natural capital accounting into managing biodiversity risks.

Regional highlights include:

In Africa:

  • Piloted an ecosystem services approach for the Ahafo North Stage 2 environmental baseline assessment that included engaging Fauna & Flora International to conduct an ecosystem services study.
  • Signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ghana Forestry Commission (GFC) for our Akyem operation to initiate a reforestation program that involves reclaiming 257 degraded hectares in the Kweikaru Forest Reserve. This project is the second reforestation program. Combined with the first phase covering 60 hectares, the two projects cover around 300 hectares, which is approximately three times Akyem’s impacted area to the forest reserve due to mining. At the end of 2016, site preparation had been completed on 90 hectares, 85 hectares had been sectioned off, and 75 hectares planted with both indigenous and exotic timber plant species. 
  • Collaborated with the GFC to select an alternate globally significant biodiversity area (GSBA) for our biodiversity offset program because of the non-availability of the Tano Offin Forest Reserve.

In North America:

  • Piloted a natural capital accounting approach at our Long Canyon operation to help us better understand, measure and assign a value to our biodiversity impacts. The pilot is based on the Natural Capital Protocol – a standardized framework to identify, measure and value impacts and dependencies on natural assets – developed by the Natural Capital Coalition. Launched in 2016, the Protocol is the result of a public-private partnership spanning business, finance, accounting, conservation, academia and policy organizations. The pilot evaluated current activities as well as future expansions, the dependency of operations on ecosystem services, and the risks and opportunities associated with project development on biodiversity and ecosystems. The pilot also demonstrated that the Protocol aligns with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for assessing biodiversity impacts.
  • Developed and commenced implementation of the Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Program – a landscape-level, multi-species conservation effort that sets forth an approach to conservation of Newmont’s owned and managed rangelands in Nevada.

In South America:

  • Conducted an independent study at our Merian operation in Suriname to evaluate biodiversity offset options, and progressed one option – the reforestation of artisanal and small-scale mining impacted lands within the Merian mining concession – to the implementation phase.
Click here for full data tables

Future Focus

Notable efforts in 2017 to ensure an effective approach to biodiversity conservation will include:

  • Conducting assessments and developing biodiversity action plans (BAPs) at all our legacy sites;
  • Completing biodiversity assessments at all of our new projects and updating our approach to begin assessments of key biodiversity values (KBVs) beginning in the exploration phase;
  • Partnering with local stakeholders and conservation experts in the implementation of the chosen offset program at our Merian operation in Suriname;
  • Continuing the planning and implementation of the Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Program in Nevada, guided by the Conservation Framework Agreement. Key activities to support the agreement include the Mary’s Mountain Perennial Grass Establishment Project; the Owyhee Meadows Restoration Project; the Mesic Area Management Project; several research projects; and expansion of ecological monitoring on our rangelands; and
  • Continuing reforestation activities at our Akyem operation, including maintenance of the completed reforestation area and reforestation of the remaining 182 hectares.