Message from the Safety and Sustainability Committee Chair
The Safety and Sustainability Committee evaluates, on behalf of Newmont’s Board of Directors, management’s efforts to build a healthier, safer and more environmentally sound and socially responsible business.
During 2016, Committee meetings involved detailed briefings on Newmont’s efforts to address the material environmental and social risks and opportunities across the business. To better understand the key sustainability matters at each operation, Committee members regularly engaged with regional leadership, conducted in-depth reviews of each operating region at quarterly committee meetings, and visited Merian and Cripple Creek & Victor – two of Newmont’s newest portfolio additions – to observe on-the-ground implementation of the Company’s policies and standards.
Among the more significant matters the Committee reviewed during the year:
- Safety – The Committee commends everyone working on Newmont’s behalf for a fatality-free year. In addition to receiving safety performance updates at each meeting, we reviewed the Company’s work to sustain this performance through its Fatality Risk Management program and address repeat events and those that had the potential for serious consequences. We also reviewed and discussed the citations and orders issued by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration related to alleged safety and health violations at Newmont’s U.S.-based mines.
- Human Rights – At each meeting, we received updates on the complex land dispute involving the Chaupe family in Peru. Management briefed the Committee and the full Board prior to the publication of the independent report on the allegations of human rights violations and other issues associated with the dispute and Newmont’s plan to address the report’s findings. We also were briefed on the important work underway to manage human rights risks across the business, particularly in the Company’s supply chain, security program and stakeholder engagement efforts.
- Environment – The Committee reviewed progress on the Company’s water strategy and efforts to reduce fresh water use. Developments around climate change – including the Paris Climate Agreement and its potential impact on our costs and operations – elevated discussions on the strategy to accelerate energy conservation and emission reductions and prepare the business for a low-carbon economy. A particular focus of the Committee was around the closure plan for the Yanacocha operation in Peru and the increase in the Company’s reclamation obligation, primarily due to higher estimated long-term water management costs, heap leach earthworks and related activities.
During the year, the Committee also discussed country risk and global efforts such as the cyanide management risk assessment; artisanal and small-scale mining strategy; workplace health exposure reduction plans; and implementation of a new integrated data management system that supports greater efficiency and more robust assurance.
In the coming year, the Committee will focus on Newmont’s efforts to sustain its safety performance; meet energy, emissions and water use targets; update its tailings storage facility management approach to reflect the industry-wide review led by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM); manage and report human rights risks; and develop an approach to demonstrate how the Company contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We also will be reviewing the revised closure plan for Yanacocha, which is expected to be submitted to Peruvian regulators in the second half of 2017.
The Company’s resiliency in what was another year of market volatility is a testament to management’s approach to delivering long-term value through sustainable and responsible mining.
Joseph A. Carrabba
Chair, Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Directors