Human Rights

Approach

Issues that were once framed as environmental, social or safety risks are increasingly being framed in human rights terms. Our activities throughout the mine lifecycle have the potential to impact the rights of workers, communities and indigenous peoples. While it is the duty of governments to protect human rights, we recognize our responsibility to respect fundamental human rights, mitigate risks, ensure those impacted by our activities have access to remedies, and help realize many human rights through positive contributions that strengthen capacity and empower communities.

Our commitment to respect the rights and dignity of all people is stated in our Code of Conduct and our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy. A set of global standards aligns our commitment to addressing human rights with the United Nations (UN) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the Guiding Principles), of which the fundamental requirement is that we do no harm. Our Supplier Code of Conduct requires our suppliers and business partners to adhere to this commitment as well.

Our global Human Rights Standard and strategy help guide how we manage impacts, address grievances, and integrate human rights considerations into our stakeholder engagement and other business activities.

All sites must maintain processes to identify human rights risks on an ongoing basis. For existing operations – or changes to existing operations that have a low risk to impact human rights – we integrate human rights considerations into current processes, such as social impact assessments (SIA) or environmental and social impact assessments (ESIA). For new projects – or changes to existing operations that have a higher potential to impact human rights – sites must integrate human rights impact assessment (HRIA) approaches into their SIAs or complete standalone HRIAs.

Ongoing engagement with stakeholders potentially impacted by our operations helps identify and surface issues before they escalate. Stakeholders can file complaints and grievances through our site-based complaints and grievances (C&G) mechanism and registers, our online Ethics Solutions Tool, or a manager or human resources representative.

In 2015, we elevated our commitment to human rights by becoming one of the first six global companies – and the first in the mining industry – to adopt the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework (the “Reporting Framework”). As the first comprehensive guidance for companies to report on how they respect human rights in line with the Guiding Principles, the Reporting Framework is a crucial tool for improving our performance. An overview of our human rights journey and details about our global salient human rights issues are discussed in our Guide to Respecting Human Rights, and we disclose our human rights performance on an annual basis in this report.

We undertake a number of preventative measures around each of these salient issues, making necessary changes to our controls and monitoring changes. We also continually identify, monitor and manage a broader range of human rights risks and impacts. For example, our global inclusion and diversity strategy includes a focus on promoting gender equality in both our workforce and the communities where we operate.

As outlined in our Reporting Framework index, we discuss our approach to managing our salient issues throughout this report. Readers may also click on any of the salient human rights issues below for more information:

Salient issues
Salient Issues

Security

With the right to security of person as one of our salient human rights issues, the basis of our global security program is working alongside our host communities to protect people and assets and respect human rights.

Newmont conducts robust, evidence-based threat and vulnerability assessments at locations ranging from exploration sites, to office buildings. Where security threats are higher – at our operations in Ghana, Peru and Suriname – we employ or contract with on-site security personnel.

As a formal participant in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), we commit to implement a set of Voluntary Principles (VPs), which provide an operating framework that enables us to maintain the safety and security of our operations based on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

All sites with on-site security personnel must use our VP implementation framework, which aligns with the following VP tools:

  • Private security – Private security firms we select must agree to our rigorous standards and human rights commitments, undergo a background check, and complete training on the VPs including the principles of de-escalation, use of force and other relevant law enforcement codes.
  • Public security – Our memoranda of understanding (MoU) with public security agencies in Ghana state our joint commitment to respect human rights when operating on Newmont property. Where we do not have MoUs in place, we pursue alternatives to formalize this commitment with the relevant public security organizations. We also encourage public security agencies to participate in our training, workshops, exercises and events pertaining to the VPs.

While we aim to avoid security-related incidents, should such an incident occur, it must be recorded and fully investigated. Events found to be credible are reported to the appropriate authorities as well as the VPSHR plenary, Newmont’s executive leadership team and our Board of Directors.

2016 Performance

Since 2011, our Yanacocha operation in Peru has been working to resolve a complex land dispute with members of the Chaupe family, who allege human rights violations by Yanacocha. In 2016, the findings of an independent, fact-based examination of the issues associated with the dispute were published by RESOLVE – a nonprofit dedicated to multi-stakeholder consensus building. RESOLVE authored the report, which we commissioned, and an advisory group of experts with NGO, human rights and industry knowledge ensured the integrity and credibility of the review. The report concluded that our acquisition of the land in question was reasonable and that Yanacocha’s actions did not violate human rights, and also helped the company identify four key areas where we have room for improvement:

  • Human rights due diligence practices need to be improved and more systematically applied in conflict scenarios to account for rapidly changing conditions on the ground.
  • Security-related risk assessments are being conducted at some level; however, root cause analysis and incident investigation processes and procedures need to be improved to better demonstrate alignment with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR).
  • Conflict scenarios require more robust procedures including situational analyses focused on dispute resolution, negotiation and de-escalation approaches that can be implemented in parallel to legal mechanisms.
  • Complaint and grievance mechanism processes should be reviewed and improved to be more responsive to allegations of human rights violations and abuses to ensure investigations are being initiated and documentation is being developed to demonstrate responses and actions where appropriate.

The full report, as well as our response to the report and our planned next steps to resolve the dispute, are publicly available on our website.

As of the end of the year, the dispute remained unresolved. Efforts to engage the family and promote opportunities for dialogue continued; however, on occasion Yanacocha conducted possessory defense actions, as required under Peruvian law, on its actively managed land holdings. These actions reduce the likelihood that mutually beneficial outcomes can be achieved, but we will continue efforts to resolve the dispute.

In support of our human rights strategy, we worked on a number of fronts to address challenges and improve our ability to manage human rights risks. Key activities during the year included:

  • All operations, except those in Australia completed their human rights risk assessments in 2016. Our operations in Australia committed to complete their assessments in 2017.
  • We conducted assessments that yielded a number of key learnings including the importance of initiating the assessment process as early as possible in the mine lifecycle and balancing the need for the reviews to be independent and objective while producing recommendations that resonate and are able to be integrated into business activities. Among the learnings at each site:
    • The Merian operation in Suriname conducted a standalone human rights impact assessment (HRIA) that identified a number of recommendations and actions. Several of the recommendations were addressed in the course of the assessment (which began in 2014), and additional actions around security teams, employee and community health, employment and training were included in the Cooperation Agreement signed between the Pamaka community and Newmont.
    • Our Yanacocha operation in Peru commenced work on a human rights impact assessment. Progress toward completing the assessment will continue into 2017 to ensure it allows for community participation and verification of the findings.
    • In Ghana, the Akyem operation incorporated human rights into their updated social impact assessment and Ahafo operations incorporated human rights indicators into their updated social baseline.
    • To better identify risks to people and the environment and not just the business, we integrated human rights considerations into the stakeholder, event and risk modules of our Integrated Management System (IMS), and began training sites on the updated IMS, which will be fully operational by 2018. This will improve our ability to provide leaders and the Board’s Safety and Sustainability Committee with up-to-date information on key risks and events having human rights considerations.
  • We developed criteria in line with our salient human rights issues to better identify and categorize those complaints and grievances that have a human rights component.
  • To address potential human rights risks and opportunities across the supplier lifecycle, we strengthened language in supplier contracts, implemented a Supplier Code of Conduct, and launched a global Supplier Risk Management program.
  • During the year, 4,939 employees and 1,744 contractors participated in various modules of human rights training. Human rights topics were addressed in a variety of ways ranging from cross-cultural educational sessions, human resources and social responsibility inductions, and modules within annual refresher courses. Training sessions focused on human rights topics ranged from 30 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the site's risk profile and needs of the audience. This training is in addition to the specific training discussed below that our security employees and contractors and relevant external stakeholders undergo on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.

During 2016, a total of nine grievances or allegations related to human rights were reported as being addressed for the year. The eight allegations related to discrimination in the workforce were submitted through and managed by our human resources function with support from other functions as necessary. Details on these grievances or allegations are discussed in the following table:

Grievances or allegations about human rights impacts filed, addressed and resolved in 2016

Security

Every site that employs private security personnel and those where public security agencies are active in and around our operations completed annual training based on the Voluntary Principles (VPs).

Total number of participants in security training
Region Site/location Employees Private security contractors Law enforcement personnel Other external stakeholders Percentage of security personnel trained Cumulative hours of training
Africa Ahafo, Akyem and Accra 775 584 90 3 100% 5,808
South America Yanacocha 0 388 0 0 100% 1,746
Total 775 972 90 3 100% 7,554
Note: In Ghana, we conducted a four-hour training program with employees, private security contractors, law enforcement and military personnel and three NGO representatives. Yanacocha trained 388 private security contractors in four-and-a-half-hour long training modules. The figures for Yanacocha do not include an annual seminar on the VPSHR, which was attended by representatives from the national government, military and police staff, community members and local journalists.

In 2016, we refreshed our approach to build an even stronger security program and improve our implementation of the VPs. Key programs and activities during the year included the following:

  • We met our global external target for all operating, project, exploration and office sites to complete security and human rights risk assessments using the standardized workbook based on the VPs. An independent auditor reviewed the assessments, and sites identified controls and developed action plans for all threats, with a particular focus on the threat of invasions and protests at our sites. This review also identified a number of key opportunities for improvement, including:
    • Tailoring training to job functions and ensuring training framework includes key learnings outcomes;
    • Expanding programs such as the Security/Community Integration Program (SCIP), which brings together community members and security personnel at our Yanacocha operation in Peru;
    • Developing consistent criteria and a more robust due diligence process for awarding and renewing private security contracts; and
    • Working within the VPSHR to create meaningful performance metrics and share excellence in implementing the VPs.
  • We established an internal, cross-functional Security and Social Acceptance Committee (SSAC) to be more agile in how we approach and respond to security-related threats. A key function of this group is to review specific cases and provide advice and solutions from a multidisciplinary perspective. During the year, the group discussed developments in the land dispute with the Chaupe family and our security approach at Merian.
  • In April, the Voluntary Principles Working Group in Peru, of which our Yanacocha operation is a co-founder, published a five-year study on promoting the VPs and improving their implementation. In addition, Yanacocha and the Peruvian Ministry of Justice hosted a VPSHR working group, where community members, government officials, embassies, NGOs, and other companies exchanged experiences on implementing the VPs. During the meeting, the Minister of Justice announced the government’s willingness to be a signatory to the VPSHR; the working group is supporting the government with this effort.