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Approach

Partnerships with universities and research organizations, as well as NGOs, governments, communities and other businesses, are key to improving our biodiversity performance and identifying opportunities – such as our Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Program – to increase the scale of biodiversity conservation efforts.

We play a leading role on the ICMM Biodiversity Steering Committee and are a member of the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Ecosystem Services Working Group. We are also an active member of the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI), a unique collaboration among the mining, oil and gas, and banking sectors to develop and share best practice in biodiversity and ecosystem services.

2017 Performance

We expanded our approach to conducting assessments of KBVs in the exploration phase and completed assessments at all our new projects – Ahafo North in Ghana, Tanami expansions in Australia, Quecher Main in Peru and Sabajo in Suriname. We also updated our Exploration Guidebook to align with our Biodiversity Management Standard.

Regional highlights included:

In Africa:

  • We partnered with the NGO, Flora and Fauna International, on a pilot study at Ahafo North to better understand how and what benefits the communities are receiving from natural stocks (biodiversity). The findings from the study will be incorporated into the project’s environmental impact statement (EIS).
  • Our Akyem operation completed the second phase of its reforestation program, which began in 2016 and involves reclaiming 257 degraded hectares in the Kweikaru Forest Reserve. In combination with the 60 hectares included in phase one, site preparation and planting of both indigenous and exotic timber plant species have been completed on more than 300 hectares. The reforestation program covers an area three times the size of the area impacted by the Akyem mine.
  • We continued to engage with the Ghana Forestry Commission (GFC) to select a site for Akyem’s biodiversity offset program. An action plan was developed in consultation with Conservation Alliance and the GFC to guide the site selection process. The GFC proposed the Attewa Forest Range as the biodiversity offset site, and we submitted our acceptance of this site with a recommendation to implement the program in phases.

In Australia:

  • Our Boddington operation continued to support the Murdoch University-led Black Cockatoo Ecology Project to protect the endangered black cockatoo population of Western Australia. This groundbreaking study uses state-of-the-art tracking technology that provides insight into threats to the species. Insights from the study help our Boddington team continuously improve the mitigation and rehabilitation methodologies that best support the species.
  • At Tanami, we prepared a Regional Biodiversity Monitoring (RBM) database to be uploaded to the national data repository, SHaRED, an Australia-wide archive of ecological data.

In North America:

  • Along with work on the relict dace at Long Canyon, we continued implementation of our precedent-setting sagebrush ecosystem strategy and associated Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Program in Nevada. Key activities during the year included:
    • We progressed two credit/debit calculations using the State of Nevada’s Conservation Credits System (CCS):
      • A debit calculation for our Greater Phoenix project, which was assessed a debit requirement of 211 credits; and
      • A credit development project on private land on the IL Ranch that is expected to generate 3,727 credits in early 2018 even though the project suffered a setback in July when wildfires affected portions of the ranch and required us to withdraw approximately half of the initial 15,000 acres slated for entrance into the CCS.
    • Two pilot project plans associated with the program’s Conservation Framework Agreement (CFA) were developed and reviewed by CFA partners – the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nevada Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and Department of Wildlife:
      • A project in the Willow Creek area to enhance approximately 2,900 acres of upland and riparian habitat in greater sage-grouse habitat that is ready for implementation in 2018; and
      • The Early Assisted Succession project that investigates new strategies for rangeland restoration on a nearly 500-acre test plot of annual grasses.
    • CFA partners joined Newmont for a meeting and field tour that included the Maggie Creek Watershed Restoration Project and the IL Ranch. Partners discussed strategies, past successes, current plans and future opportunities.
    • We continued to partner with experts from the University of Nevada Reno and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service to study new and improved methods for annual invasive grass control and rangeland restoration.
    • The Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Program’s Conservation Framework Agreement received the “Nevada Excellence in Mine Reclamation” award for leadership in conservation planning. The awards committee includes representatives from the Nevada Division of Minerals, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Department of Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, and Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, which conduct field assessments before selecting recipients.
  • Our Cripple Creek & Victor operation in Colorado completed a biodiversity risk assessment and identified the KBVs. The assessments confirmed that no IUCN-listed endangered or critically endangered species were within the mine’s current area of operation. CC&V also completed a wetland delineation for a future expansion area and will work in 2018 to evaluate required mitigations.

In South America:

  • At Merian in Suriname, we implemented an internal permit approval process for vegetation disturbance to support our goal of no net loss/net positive impact of the site’s KBVs. The site is also using hazing techniques and relocating animals, setting site speed limits, prohibiting hunting, and trialing the installation of arboreal road crossing structures to avoid and minimize impacts to fauna.
  • We collaborated with global biodiversity experts to evaluate options for a biodiversity offset of suitable size and value to meet the offset requirements for Merian. The option selected was to restore areas impacted by artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) within Merian’s right of exploitation (RoE). During the year, the site commenced earthworks to shape and contour ASM-impacted lands and create pilot plots for restoration work. The trial will assess the effectiveness of several revegetation treatment methods to determine which one is ideally suited to site-wide application.
  • Prior to disturbing any land associated with the Quecher Main project at Yanacocha in Peru, we worked with biodiversity specialists to develop and implement a rescue and relocation program for the Paramo Andes frog, a critically endangered species. Although this work was completed in full compliance with Peruvian regulations and followed acceptable practices, the approach did not align with IUCN guidelines and the requirements in our BAP to restore degraded habitat areas and  relocate species to a suitable habitat prior to land disturbance.
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Future Focus

To improve our management of biodiversity-related risks, we will focus on the following efforts:

  • Based on the success of the cross-functional global teams implementing our water and energy and climate strategies, we will work to establish a global biodiversity management team to broaden awareness, build capacity and track emerging issues and challenges.
  • To support broader industry efforts to establish offsets that are externally verified prior to project development, we expect to finalize a three-year partnership agreement with IUCN – a United Nations-sponsored organization made up of more than 1,400 governmental and non-governmental organizations – to jointly develop a protocol for independent verification of biodiversity gains. Testing of the protocol is expected to begin in Nevada.
  • We will continue to identify opportunities to integrate ecosystems services into our biodiversity planning.
  • Through the ICMM and CSBI, we will provide input and monitor developments on a project by the IUCN to develop a set of universal principles and technical guidance for how businesses should operate in and around KBAs, whether they are within protected areas or not.
  • We will conduct assessments and develop biodiversity action plans (BAPs) at all our legacy sites.

Key activities in the regions include:

  • Boddington’s work on developing offsets will include evaluating a land exchange and creating a conservation covenant to support black cockatoo habitat.
  • Akyem will begin the maintenance phase of its reforestation program, which includes replacing plants that did not survive, and will start implementing its biodiversity offset program to achieve the goal of no net loss of KBVs.
  • Merian will begin monitoring and measuring the success of its offset program using ecological performance metrics such as species richness, stream water quality, and stream structure and habitat features. Monitoring will be conducted with the University of Suriname. Because the availability of native plants is one of the offset’s challenges, construction will begin on an on-site plant nursery to germinate and grow locally collected seeds and seedlings.
  • In Nevada, we will continue our ongoing partnerships and collaborations on biodiversity programs and projects. CFA partners will join Newmont on another tour of the Maggie Creek and IL Ranch. We also will work on developing a partnership with Bayer on new herbicides for annual grasses and desirable perennial species.
  • At Yanacocha’s Quecher Main project, we will continue with habitat restoration and additional offset programs to meet the requirements of our BAP and achieve our no net loss/net positive impact biodiversity commitment.