Securing the support and acceptance of 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 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 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.
We met our global target to complete 90 percent of community commitments by the due date.
All sites met the target to resolve 100 percent of tier 1 complaints within 30 days, with the exception of Yanacocha in Peru. The site responded to 97 percent of its tier 1 complaints within 30 days. Out of the five cases closed beyond 30 days, two were related to an interpersonal issue between a community member and a Yanacocha worker. As a result, the site formalized its process for managing complaints that are not directly related to company activities. The three other cases provided the opportunity for the site to improve coordination among multiple departments to resolve complaints.
within 30 days
- Compensation/accounts payable
- Other (miscellaneous)
- Business partners (contractors)
- Blast event
- Property/land access
- Workforce behavior
- Community investment
- Cultural/heritage sites
- Human rights
|Category||Number||% of total|
|Business partners (contractors)||93||22.2%|
We recorded a total of 419 new complaints, a 10 percent decline compared to 2016, due to an increased focus on complaint tracking and resolution. During the year, 403 complaints were resolved.
- Of the total number of new complaints, 411 (98 percent) were tier 1, there were no tier 2 complaints, and eight were tier 3.
- The average resolution time for all tier 1 complaints was approximately 8.7 days.
- The highest number of C&Gs across our operations were related to compensation and accounts payable, business partners, blast events and land access.
- No human rights-related complaints were received through our C&G registers in 2017.
To ensure we have effective processes in place to listen and respond to stakeholder concerns, we increased our focus during the year on managing C&Gs. We held a global social responsibility community of practice call on C&G management practices and conducted a more in-depth discussion on best practices related to managing blasting-related complaints – a common complaint at several sites. Our Supplier Risk Management program aims to address another common complaint related to supplier/contractor issues. Through the stakeholder module tool in our Integrated Management System (IMS), we improved our ability to track stakeholder engagements, including more robust detail about the stakeholder, type of complaint, impacts and opportunities.
At the end of 2017, 100 percent of our sites had conducted or updated a social impact assessment (SIA) in the last five years. Our Cripple Creek & Victor (CC&V) operation in Colorado completed its first SIA under Newmont’s standards and held public meetings to discuss impacts and mitigation strategies, such as for noise and blasting. The Phoenix operation in Nevada completed its SIA focused on Lander County, where we are working with the Battle Mountain Band of the Western Shoshone on the management of cultural artifacts identified in mining areas.
We significantly expanded our approach to developing social baselines, based on findings from the report published by the Expert Advisory Panel that studied our engagement with local indigenous groups in Suriname. Developed by the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the University of Queensland, our social baseline approach now includes detailed social, economic, physical and cultural information to provide a more comprehensive view of the communities and the context in which we operate.
Other notable community engagement activities in 2017 included:
- In early 2017, two reports sponsored by the Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM), a Ghanaian NGO, were released alleging that Newmont’s Ahafo mine adversely impacted water sources and marginalized women in nearby communities. To investigate these claims, Newmont conducted community outreach to communicate that constructive feedback is welcome, and commissioned a team of independent assessors to objectively evaluate the two reports.
The independent evaluations concluded that the methodology used in the reports was inconsistent, not scientifically valid, and could not be relied upon as the basis for the reports’ conclusions. The experts recommended that Newmont implement a participatory water monitoring program, and planning is underway to create a program similar to those we have implemented at our operations in Peru and Suriname. The assessors also observed that Newmont had implemented programs – such as the Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Program (AILAP) and Women’s Consultative Committee (WCC) Revolving Fund – that had positively impacted women in the nearby communities.
- To strengthen relationships at the national level, we held two stakeholder engagement forums that brought together representatives from business, academia, government, media and civil society to discuss impacts – both positive and negative – of Newmont’s operations in Ghana. Feedback was largely positive, with many participants indicating they had gained new knowledge and understanding of Newmont’s operations.
- Representatives from our Akyem operation met with the National Liaison Group of Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency to seek solutions on issues and concerns related to blasting, perceived impacts to local water sources, livelihood challenges at the resettlement site, and alleged public road impacts. This engagement included working together to develop an action plan.
- Due to concerns expressed by some local youth, our team at Ahafo engaged with them on employment and skills training opportunities and provided frequent updates on our performance against employment targets.
- KCGM’s long-standing partnership with Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group (KBULG) won the 2017 Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) Community Partnership Resources Sector Award and was a finalist for the Western Australia Golden Gecko Community Partnership Awards. For more than 12 years, KCGM has supported KBULG and worked with the organization on cultural and environmental awareness activities, including the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Clean-Up Day, community tree-planting days, local aboriginal cultural tours, development of the Eco and Cultural Education Centre, and the cactus infestation removal project, which received the 2017 State Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Award.
- Boddington updated the charter for the Community Reference Group (CRG), a multi-stakeholder forum that includes local government, aboriginal and community stakeholders and representatives from the education and environmental sectors. The CRG’s purpose is to address social and environmental matters and discuss closure-related commitments including post-mining land use options. In 2017, the CRG held its first joint meeting with the community liaison committee of the neighboring operation, Worsley Alumina, operated by South32, to share information and identify opportunities for collaboration.
In North America:
- We conducted extensive engagement with regulators, local communities and Native American groups prior to initiating environmental baseline studies for our Long Canyon Phase 2 project in Nevada.
- Newmont is a founding member of the Mining and Faith Reflections Initiative, which brings together members from the industry and faith-based organizations to discuss and collaborate on ways for mining to more widely meet societal expectations and protect the environment. After an initial 2016 meeting with faith groups in Elko, Nevada, meetings are now occurring on a quarterly basis. Additional meetings were held with faith groups in Battle Mountain and Winnemucca, Nevada, in 2017, and several groups participated in mine tours. Through the engagement, we continue to learn about each other and our respective roles in the community and have identified numerous opportunities to support each other’s community activities.
In South America:
- At our Yanacocha operation in Peru, we continued to work toward resolving a complex land dispute with the Chaupe family, who allege human rights violations by Yanacocha, and addressed a similar land matter with the Pajares family. Additional details about these disputes are discussed in the Human Rights section of this report.
- Yanacocha held a number of public hearings during the preparation of the environmental and social impact studies for planned expansion projects, consulting with stakeholders from more than 50 communities.
- To address an outstanding community commitment from 2004, Yanacocha engaged users of the Tual irrigation channel and users of the Mashcon River through multi-stakeholder working groups that include the Cajamarca Water Authority. A study of the Tual irrigation channel commenced to understand the availability of water in the watershed. The focus on water was highlighted as well through the National University of Cajamarca’s first International Water Forum. Yanacocha supported the event, which featured local and international experts and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss water management issues in the Cajamarca Region.
- In Suriname, we engaged with local community stakeholders and the media to discuss findings from the RESOLVE report, “Free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) within a human rights framework: Lessons from a Suriname case study.” Key findings helped inform the engagement process for the Sabajo project – an expansion of the Merian operation – where Newmont held more than 200 meetings and public hearings with community, business and government stakeholders. Although stakeholders expressed broad support for the project and the opportunities for local employment and procurement, they also raised concerns about safety impacts.
- At our Merian operation in Suriname, the Pamaka Negotiating Committee (POC) transitioned to the Pamaka Sustainable Development Committee (DOP) to monitor the ongoing implementation of the Cooperation Agreement between the Pamaka community and Newmont.
Addressing concerns before conflicts arise is a key commitment we make to host communities. We extended our complaints and grievances target through 2018 to ensure that desired actions and behaviors are embedded into business practices.
|Year||Target definition||Target for sites||Target for Newmont|
Percentage of tier 1* complaints and grievances closed within 30 days
100 percent of tier 1 complaints and grievances closed within 30 days
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.
|Year||Target definition||Target for sites||Target for Newmont|
Commitments completed on or before due dates as captured in register
95 percent completion of community commitments on or before due date
100 percent of sites achieve the annual site targets
Efforts in 2018 to ensure we are building meaningful, long-term relationships with host communities include:
- We will continue to build our internal capacity on how to identify human rights-related issues expressed through our complaints and grievances process to ensure that we are effectively managing human rights concerns.
- We will launch our community participatory monitoring program at Ahafo and conduct on-site training for participants in Merian’s monitoring program.
- Boddington will finalize a community perception survey in 2018, which seeks feedback on its approach to mitigate and manage its social impacts and other issues, concerns, opportunities and expectations.
- We will submit a draft ESHIA to the government in Suriname as part of exploring potential future development options at our Merian mine.
- We will seek to measure the effectiveness of our internal and external stakeholder engagement in North America, and leverage lessons learned to other sites.
- Akyem will update three community agreements related to community relationships, employment and NAkDeF, which underwent a review process following the agreements’ expiration in 2017.