Newmont Improving the Quality of Life in ZacatecasBy Paloma Duran | Wed, 10/13/2021 - 14:16
Zacatecas communities’ development, especially in Mazapil, has been gradually increasing in recent years, consistent with the arrival of Newmont to the state and the beginning of its activities aimed at improving the quality of life, education and health of its citizens. .
According to CONEVAL, Zacatecas is ranked 20th in social lag rates (an indicator that measures social development in Mexico) nationwide. Currently, the entity reports a low degree of social lag, while in 2010 the state was categorized with a medium lag. This decrease in social lag rates is consistent with Newmont's arrival to the state. The company started operations in 2010; however, it began working in the state years before, reported Mining Mexico .
The quality of life of its citizens has significantly improved since the arrival of the mining company, despite having an increase in the population, especially in communities near the Peñaquisto mine. According to CONEVAL, the population increased by 8.8 percent since 2010, increasing from 1.4 million inhabitants to 1.6 million inhabitants in 2020.
In 2000, 9.29 percent of the population between the ages of 6 and 14 did not attend school; in 2005 it dropped to 5.52 percent, in 2010 the figure was 4.40, in 2015 it was 3.0 percent; and in 2020, the percentage rose to 5.3. This latest increase was primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused many students to drop out of school across the country.
Regarding the population over 15 years of age, in 2000, 7.96 percent considered themselves illiterate; in 2005 it decreased to 7.19 percent; in 2010 it was 5.55; in 2015 it was 4.4 percent, and in 2020 it dropped to 3.8 percent.
In addition to education, Newmont seeks to empower host communities so that they can become self-sufficient once the mine stops operating. In a recent interview with MBN, Hughes-Hallet said it is important to contribute to the health and vibrancy of the local economy. Newmont Peñasquito has a program called ¨Ideas With Value,¨ where they intervene in Peñasquito’s communities to strengthen their business capacities. The goal is to promote the creation or improvement of small and micro-businesses such as restaurants, hair salons, fruit sellers, warehouses, clothing stores, farms and other businesses.
Newmont’s Peñasquito is located 780 km from Mexico City. The operation has an open pit mine called Peñasco, that produces gold, silver, lead and zinc. In 2020, for the 13th year in a row, Newmont was on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, in which the company was named top global gold mining company for its leading environmental, social and governance performance.