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Approach

We mine where ore bodies are located and when we have the social license and all the required regulatory approvals to do so. At times, mine development results in unavoidable relocation and resettlement of households and/or livelihoods as well as impacts to those who depend on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). The right to an adequate standard of living is one of our salient human rights issues, and we are committed to managing and mitigating the risks associated with our business activities.

Our commitment to assess and respect the rights and needs of landowners and local communities prior to any land acquisition or resettlement is stated in our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy, and our Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement Standard sets the minimum requirements for activities that require relocation of homes and communities or disruption of livelihoods.

Our approach is aligned with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standard 5, which states that the first objective is to avoid resettlement. If alternatives are not available, we work to ensure affected people and communities are able to make informed decisions; adverse impacts are minimized; and livelihoods and living conditions are restored or improved.

Prior to any resettlement activities, we work with local stakeholders to develop a resettlement action plan (RAP), which addresses the impacts of physical displacement, and/or a livelihood action plan (LAP), which addresses the economic impacts. Sites regularly monitor and evaluate RAPs and LAPs and annually conduct audits by qualified external experts to ensure activities are meeting the needs of affected persons.

We are one of four mining industry partners in the Mining, Resettlement and Livelihood Research and Practice Consortium. Together with the University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, this first-of-its-kind industry-university working group aims to better understand how resettlement risks are managed, identify strategies to improve livelihood outcomes for those affected by resettlement, conduct research, and help inform policies that lead to more effective practices.

Artisanal and small-scale mining

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) provides subsistence for more than 100 million people – including workers and families across the ASM value chain. Although many ASM activities are considered illegal and use mining methods that pose significant safety and environmental risks, increasingly, governments, policy makers and international organizations view ASM as an important rural livelihood and are focused on establishing more formal, responsible ASM frameworks.

Our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy includes our commitment to work with governments, communities and other stakeholders in a manner that respects human rights and livelihoods and promotes responsible ASM.

Currently, ASM activities take place on or near four of our operations – Ahafo and Akyem in Ghana, Merian in Suriname, and Cripple Creek and Victor (CC&V) in the U.S. ASM in Ghana and Suriname are often viewed as sustainable livelihoods, whereas ASM in the U.S. context is often a more recreational activity. Our exploration teams also encounter ASM activities.

Our global ASM strategy helps us explore, develop and operate in places where small-scale miners work. Feedback from external stakeholders – such as the need to address the middle part of the supply chain and the role of women in the ASM sector – is reflected in the strategy, which has four main objectives:

  • Security – Ensure safe and secure access to Newmont’s assets, interests and concessions in proximity to ASM activities to minimize conflict between ASM and Newmont;
  • Performance – Manage our environmental, social, security, health and safety risks and impacts caused by ASM activities to ensure compliance and protect our reputation;
  • Livelihood development – Create greater stability by collaborating to empower and improve livelihood options associated with the local economy; and
  • Influence, learn and align – Monitor, engage and influence improved ASM policy and practices and align with the needs of Newmont’s exploration, projects and operations.

The strategy helps guide regions and sites on how to characterize and manage related risks through implementation plans that reflect local ASM activities and their proximity to Newmont’s operations.

Our cross-functional ASM working group ensures alignment across regions and functions, facilitates knowledge sharing and identifies potential partnerships. All sites and exploration projects with an ASM presence must identify risks and opportunities and develop action plans to address any gaps between existing practices and the strategy.

In Suriname, where we operate the Merian mine, we entered into a Cooperation Agreement with the Pamaka community, which states our commitment to support the area’s ASM sector where many community members earn their income. This support includes conducting research into safer and more environmentally friendly mining methods and formalizing an engagement approach.

We engage with governments to identify land in our licenses to set aside for responsible, legal ASM, and we collaborate with international experts and organizations, as well as national and local governments and universities, to help legitimize ASM and improve safety and environmental protections.

Future Focus

We will continue to execute our global ASM strategy and continue to implement our strategic objectives in those locations where ASM activities take place on or near our operations.

In Ghana, we will roll out a coordinated approach to security; explore and analyze how to integrate livelihood programs into the ASM strategy; and extend our engagement with the government.

In Suriname, we will establish a cross-functional working group to address the outcomes of the 2017 workshop and integrate the ASM strategy deeper into the organization. We will also undertake further mapping of key stakeholders to inform our engagement with ASM.

We will continue to build relationships with ASM operators during the exploration stage of mine development and integrate our approach into stakeholder mapping, engagement plans, community investments and land access in order to fully understand the impact of our presence.