Community Relationships

Home Economic and Social Performance Community Relationships


Securing the support and acceptance of our host communities is essential to our sustainability as a business. We strive to build relationships based on mutual respect and trust so that together with our host communities we contribute toward social and economic development, improved standards and long-term benefits.

Our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy outlines this commitment and is supported by our Stakeholder Relationship Management Standard as well as our Social Baseline and Impact Assessment Standard, which detail the minimum requirements to plan, manage and monitor our performance throughout the mine lifecycle.

Our external relations strategy provides the framework to align and enhance best practices, focus on where improvement is most needed, and better integrate community relations objectives – such as hiring and procurement in local communities – into the broader business.

Our standards require sites to have a comprehensive strategic stakeholder engagement plan and conduct and/or update baseline studies and impact assessments to inform our approach and identify opportunities for improving the communities’ long-term outlook.

Most of these assessments are conducted by external, independent experts 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.

Our standards also require an open and transparent process where stakeholders’ complaints are dealt with fairly and in a timely manner. All sites must maintain a complaints and grievances (C&G) register and ensure stakeholders know how to raise concerns. We use a three-tier system where 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.

2016 Performance

All sites met our global target to resolve at least 90 percent of tier 1 complaints within 30 days. Sites also met the target to implement an auditable process for capturing community commitments and registering such commitments. We will publicly report our performance in completing these commitments beginning in 2017.

At the end of 2016, 100 percent of our sites had conducted or updated a social impact assessment (SIA) in the last five years. During the year, the Phoenix operation in Nevada began work to update its SIA and Cripple Creek & Victor in Colorado began its first SIA, both of which are expected to be completed in 2017. In Ghana, Ahafo updated its social baselines, while Akyem completed the field work to update its social impact assessment, and KCGM in Australia – which Newmont became the operator of in 2015 – conducted its first SIA to meet the criteria set forth in Newmont’s standards. The assessment is publicly available online and reflects extensive internal and external stakeholder input.

Among our 13 locations with complaint and grievance (C&G) registers, a total of 459 new complaints were recorded in 2016, a 59 percent decline compared to 2015. Fewer complaints in Ghana and Peru – 48 percent and 28 percent lower, respectively – and the divestitures of Batu Hijau in Indonesia and Waihi in New Zealand drove the year-over-year reduction. During the year, 451 complaints were resolved.

  • Of the 13 sites with C&G registers, five sites had no formal complaints, seven sites resolved 100 percent and one site resolved 98 percent of tier 1 complaints within 30 days. 
  • Of the total number of new complaints, 450 (98 percent) were tier 1, two were tier 2 and six were tier 3.
  • The average resolution time for all complaints was approximately six days.

Regional community engagement highlights for 2016 include:

  • The Ghana Environmental Protection Agency held public hearings to gather input and comments from community members on Newmont’s proposed Ahafo Mill Expansion and the Subika Underground project. The EPA public hearings demonstrated broad support of the projects as well as highlighting the importance of identified mitigation actions to reduce overall project impacts on area water resources.
  • At our KCGM operation in Australia, the Community Reference Group (CRG), which was established in 1999 and is composed of and chaired by members of the local community, met monthly to discuss KCGM’s present operations, future developments and the potential impacts these may have on the Kalgoorlie-Boulder community. Meeting minutes are publicly available online.
  • Newmont is a founding member of Mining and Faith Reflections Initiative, which brings together the industry and faith-based organizations to discuss and collaborate on ways for mining to more widely benefit society and the environment. During the year, the initiative focused on regionalizing engagement, planning and formalizing the initiative. Related to these efforts, our Nevada team held its first-ever formal meeting with 25 faith leaders from the Elko/Spring Creek area to share ideas for working together to build healthy, sustainable communities.
  • At our Yanacocha operation in Peru, we focused on resolving a complex land dispute with the Chaupe family, who alleges human rights violations by Yanacocha. Additional detail about this dispute is discussed in the Human Rights section of this report.
  • Yanacocha also engaged in a formal dialogue process to address outstanding commitments related to an alleged impact to one of the springs used by the community. During the year, Yanacocha and the Municipality of Baños del Inca reached an agreement to expand the capacity of the Zarcilleja community’s existing potable water system, which will benefit 120 families.
  • Yanacocha conducted a communication and consultation process to assess the level of support from the surrounding communities for continuing its operations and developing future projects in the Cajamarca region. More than 80 workshops were conducted with the participation of more than 2,000 urban stakeholders, institutions, local organizations and rural stakeholders from the Yanacocha area of influence. Workshop results indicate that 75 to 80 percent of the participants support the continuation of operations and the development of future projects. The majority of the support is based upon employment and community development opportunities as well as concerns over water scarcity and pollution.
  • In Suriname, we signed a comprehensive Cooperation Agreement with the Pamaka community that addresses eight focus areas – participatory monitoring, preferential employment, preferential procurement, feedback, complaints and grievances, small-scale mining, safety and communications – and ratified the terms of a Community Development Fund.

On a global level, we introduced an internal community of practice (CoP) that provides social responsibility practitioners across the Company access to a wide range of expertise to help address challenges and fuel continuous improvement. For example, the CoP helped our Nevada team redesign its SIA process based on lessons learned from other sites prior to conducting the Phoenix and Cripple Creek & Victor SIAs. Our teams in Peru and Ghana also shared lessons learned on implementing a new social acceptance tool used to assess the effectiveness of various management strategies.

As part of our Integrated Management System (IMS), we launched a new stakeholder module to help us better tailor our stakeholder engagement approach to the stakeholder and the situation. We also finalized the protocols for auditing our social responsibility standards through the IMS audit program.

2016 Complaints or grievances recorded on site registers
Site Number Percent resolved within 30 days
Ahafo 181 98%
Akyem 56 100%
Boddington 11 100%
KCGM 24 100%
Tanami 0 N/A
Perth 0 N/A
Carlin 1 100%
CC&V 0 N/A
Long Canyon 0 N/A
Phoenix 1 100%
Twin Creeks 0 N/A
Yanacocha 170 100%
Merian 15 100%
Total 459
Complaints by category
Note: These numbers represent the total number of complaints and grievances registered with Newmont in 2016. The totals include complaints and grievances from our regional office in Perth, Australia and our two operations that entered commercial production in the second half of 2016, Merian and Long Canyon.
Category Number Percent
Compensation/accounts payable 196 42.7%
Business partners (contractors) 123 26.8%
Workforce behavior 37 8.1%
Other (miscellaneous) 29 6.3%
Blast event 16 3.5%
Property/land access 16 3.5%
Employment/procurement 12 2.6%
Community investment 9 2.0%
Resettlement 6 1.3%
Water 6 1.3%
Vibration 5 1.1%
Air  4 0.9%
Cultural/heritage sites
Human rights
Note: These numbers represent the total number of complaints and grievances registered with Newmont in 2016. The totals include complaints and grievances from our regional office in Perth, Australia and our two operations that entered commercial production in the second half of 2016, Merian and Long Canyon.

Future Focus

Addressing concerns before conflicts arise is a key commitment we make to host communities. Because we exceeded our 2016 target related to complaints and grievances, we raised our 2017 target for all sites to close 100 percent of tier 1 complaints within 30 days.

Complaints and grievances target
Years Target definition Target for sites Target for Newmont

Percent of tier 1* complaints closed (defined as handling complaints that may be resolved between the site and the complainants) in a 30-day period

100 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.
Community commitments target
Years Target definition Target for sites Target for Newmont

Commitments completed on or before due dates as captured in register

90 percent completion of community commitments* on or before due date

100 percent of sites achieve the annual site targets


95 percent completion of community commitments on or before due date

100 percent of sites achieve the annual site targets

* Only commitments made after Q1 2017.

Efforts in 2017 to ensure we are building meaningful, long-term relationships with our host communities include:

  • Launching a "back to basics" campaign across sites to consistently and effectively implement the building blocks of social responsibility performance, such as complaints and grievance management, completing commitments and effective stakeholder engagement.
  • Finalizing the social impact assessments (SIA) at Cripple Creek & Victor in Colorado and the Phoenix mine in Nevada. A full social baseline and impact assessment will also be conducted in 2017 as part of our study to explore potential future development options at the Merian mine in Suriname.
  • Beginning to track stakeholder engagements through the new stakeholder module in our Integrated Management System (IMS). This module will serve as a vital tool in developing a more meaningful and effective engagement approach based on the stakeholder, impacts and opportunities.