Creating Shared Value in Mining
Done right, mining can be a powerful catalyst for economic and social development.
One measure of our sustainability performance is our direct and indirect economic impact on the local communities and nations that host our operations. Wages and benefits, taxes and royalties, procurement of goods and services, and investments in community development and capacity are direct contributions. Much harder to quantify, but equally important, are the indirect benefits – job opportunities and business creation that are fostered by our suppliers, our suppliers’ suppliers and spending by mine workers.
In a 2014 research paper by the Foundation Strategy Group, Newmont’s worker apprenticeship program in Ghana was highlighted as a way for natural resource companies to deliver positive social outcomes by tying business success to the prosperity of host communities and countries.
These programs at our Ahafo and Akyem mines deliver shared value by providing opportunities for local community members to acquire the skills needed for trade and technical jobs such as electricians, mechanics, mine maintenance and operations technicians and welders. In return, graduates of the program provide Newmont with a qualified, trained local workforce. Since the program began in 2005, virtually all of the graduates have been employed by the Company.
Program Beneficiary Pays It Forward
In 2007, Alex Boampong – a chainsaw operator who harvested timber from the forests near Newmont’s Ahafo mine in Ghana – enrolled in the Ahafo Linkages Program (ALP). Newmont, with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), created the ALP in 2007 to increase the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises in the communities near the mine.
Through the training provided by the ALP, Mr. Boampong acquired the management skills and techniques that helped him establish and formalize business practices, provide services to the mine and hire the people – including engineers and accountants – needed to support his growing business.
Today, Mr. Boampong is the Chief Executive Officer of Alexiboam Company Limited – a construction and chainsaw company that is one of the largest private employers in the Brong-Ahafo region, now employing more than 180 people and providing services not only to Newmont but to other mining companies across Ghana as well.
In 2012, Alexiboam Company Limited was recognized as the Young Enterprise (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) of the Year by the Association of Ghana Industries. Along with being a valued employer in the Brong-Ahafo region, Mr. Boampong is a strong community supporter. In 2014, Alexiboam and the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) formed the NADeF/Alexiboam Scholarship to help accomplished students from the Ahafo community pursue continued education. The first recipient of the scholarship is expected to be selected in 2015.
The ALP, which ran from 2007 to 2010, mentored around 90 local businesses employing more than 200 people. Since 2007, the Ahafo mine has awarded more than $60 million in contracts to local suppliers.
Driving Socio-economic Development
In 2014, Newmont received recognition from two notable organizations for programs that contributed to improving lives and sustainable socio-economic development.
Best social impact investment vehicle in Africa
Newmont’s Ahafo Development Foundation (NADeF) was awarded the best social impact investment vehicle in Africa by the European Union’s African Chamber of Commerce (EUACC). More than 40 companies in Sub-Saharan Africa applied for the award out of which eight were nominated to receive awards in Sustainable Economy, Social Impact, Environment/EUACC-Be Inspired and EUACC-Promising Project. NADeF was established in 2008 with a mission to drive economic and social development in the 10 communities near the Ahafo mine in Ghana. NADeF’s governance structure is unique and ensures community ownership and participation with the majority of the Board of Trustees represented by community leaders.
Improving potato farmers’ prosperity
Yanacocha’s Asociación Los Andes de Cajamarca (ALAC) won the Peru 2021 award for social responsibility in the Community category for its program that supports local farmers in the production and commercialization of native potato crops. Over the last four years, the program increased the income of 1,254 families through the development of 793 hectares of potatoes, creating 441 temporary jobs and increasing productivity to 13 metric tonnes per hectare through innovative techniques and technology provided by ALAC.
Engagement Efforts Key to Mine Expansion
In 2014, Newmont approved funding and commenced construction of the Correnso underground mine – the first gold mine in New Zealand to be developed under residential properties.
To reach this milestone, Newmont conducted extensive stakeholder outreach and communications to garner both regulatory approvals and support from the Waihi community. This engagement continues today with Newmont personnel visiting homes, holding public meetings and workshops, publishing newsletters, participating in a weekly radio show, and staffing a toll-free line that allows community residents to contact Newmont 24 hours a day with questions, issues or concerns.
In addition, the Waihi Community Forum (WCF) – which includes Newmont representatives, Hauraki District Council (HDC) members and elected community representatives – was established to address issues, specifically those related to properties impacted by mining activities. The WCF has been successful in increasing relevant parties’ understanding of each other and working toward a thriving and sustainable community for those residents who live close to our operation.
Mentoring Program Aims to Increase Indigenous Graduation Rates
In Australia, indigenous students are often far behind their non-indigenous peers in a number of key areas including literacy, attendance and graduation rates. In 2014, Newmont partnered with Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) on a unique mentoring program that helps indigenous high school students graduate and continue their educational journey.
To date, the AIME program has attracted 70 high school students from across the Gnaala Karla Booja claimant region in Western Australia (WA). AIME Program Director for WA Reece Harley said this year’s successful enrollment was very exciting for both the students and the program.
“Enrolling 70 students is a great result for our first year of partnering with Newmont, and we hope to give even more indigenous students in WA the skills, opportunities, belief and confidence to grow and succeed at the same rate as all Australian students,” Reece said.
The overall AIME program is producing results. For example, the year 9 (high school sophomore) to university progression rate for AIME students was 20.4 percent, which is five times the national indigenous average of 4.1 percent, and is moving towards the national non-indigenous average of 37.4 percent.
The AIME program links indigenous high school students with volunteer university students in a one-on-one relationship. Each year it holds five full-day sessions covering topics such as public speaking, goal setting and resilience.
Through the 3-year partnership, Newmont and AIME hope to continue to improve indigenous education opportunities.
Restoring Livelihoods after Resettlement
At the end of 2014, an independent review of Newmont’s resettlement program at the Ahafo operation in Ghana was finalized and published. The report, titled “The Ahafo South Resettlement Completion Audit,” presents findings and observations from independent experts as well as the individuals and families who were resettled.
The audit was a comprehensive review of the Ahafo South resettlement program, which involved the acquisition of homes and agriculture land from around 1,700 households. The resettlement program’s outcomes were assessed using the Sustainable Livelihood Framework, which evaluates human, physical, natural, financial and social aspects. Notably, the auditors concluded:
- There was much to support the reputation of Ahafo’s resettlement program as perhaps the best resettlement program yet undertaken in Africa; and
- The Ahafo South resettlement and livelihood commitments, as described in the Resettlement Action Plan, have been met.
The audit highlighted positive impacts as a result of resettlement activities including improvements in the standard of housing, access to improved water, sanitation and medical services; significant improvements to social services and direct and indirect employment or business opportunities; and an effective incentive program to encourage displaced people to access replacement land.
Additionally, the review suggested improvements to incorporate into future resettlement plans including increasing land ownership opportunities to improve food sufficiency; improving disclosures about when programs commence and end to avoid dependency; addressing short-term food security by improving farm planning to maintain a better balance between food production and cash crop development; expanding baseline studies to better measure household food sufficiency and nutrition; and monitoring local housing, land, labor and food costs.