Newmont: A Leading Example of Responsible MiningBy Paloma Duran | Wed, 02/10/2021 - 18:50
Karen Flores, Director General of CAMIMEX, presented “Newmont: ESG Practices for Robust Business Operations at Peñasquito” focused on the Newmont’s commitment with Mexico and ESG practices.
Newmont’s Peñasquito is located 780 km from Mexico City. The operation has an open pit mine, Peñasco, that produces gold, silver, lead and zinc. During the presentations, Peter Hughes-Hallett, Country Manager Mexico at Newmont said “we are the only gold producer ranked in the S&P500 index and are recognized for our ESG efforts.” Hughes-Hallett shared that the company has made a global commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030 with the goal of becoming an emission-free company by 2050.
Furthermore, Hughes-Hallett said the mining of the future needs strong and sustainable relationships with the communities. He shared that the company has sough to increase and strengthen its relationship with communities by implementing projects that show the company’s interest for them.
Additionally, Hughes-Hallett explained that there is a misconception that mining does not pay taxes and only affects communities; however, this is not true. He emphasized that the government needs to understand the importance of the mining sector and implement policies to increase the attractiveness of the Mexican jurisdiction.
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.
During today’s forum, Bernard Wessels, Peñasquito's General Manager at Newmont, explained that part of the company’s success is due to the implementation of safety and environmental programs that prevent unwanted events. An example is that “the company has administered 124,000 rapid tests in an effort to keep their camp clean from COVID-19.”
Juan Reynaud, Peñasquito's Head of Human Resources at Newmont, said the company has focused on people and their wellbeing. The company gives out awards that recognize people’s efforts regarding prevention. Moreover, he explained the company’s commitment to people, does not only include its workers, but communities as well. An example is that few years ago the company hired 150 people from communities to be road operators and now they are training them for new projects. “The last strike at Peñasquito was in 2013, which shows the strong and stable relationship we have created with nearby communities.”
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, reported MBN.
Doris Vega, Communications Manager Mexico at Newmont, said that during the pandemic, social media has become the main tool that has allowed them to strengthen their relationship with the public. “Since October, we have been showing the human side of our collaborators on social media. In addition to being miners, they are parents, siblings and have other talents", Vega said.
Vega added that highly effective teams can leverage diversity as one of the company's greatest competitive advantages. Newmont's approach focuses on gender, nationality, and local and indigenous groups, aligning with ESG practices and the company's commitments to communities.