Tag Archives: environmental

Newmont aims for net zero carbon emissions by 2030

Newmont has announced what, it says, are “industry-leading climate targets” to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30%, with an ultimate goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The new 2030 target builds upon Newmont’s existing GHG emissions reductions target of 16.5% over five years, concluding in 2020.

“At Newmont, we hold ourselves to high standards – from the way in which we govern our business, to how we manage relationships with our stakeholders, to our environmental stewardship and safety practices,” Tom Palmer, President and CEO of Newmont, said. “We fundamentally understand the human contribution to climate change and understand we reap what we sow. It is our responsibility to take care of the resources provided to us.

“We take these climate change commitments seriously, and make them because our relationship with the planet is absolute. We want a world that is not just sustainable, but thriving for generations to come.”

Using science-based criteria, Newmont has set climate targets for 2021-2030 for its operating sites, including a renewable energy target. The science-based criteria align with Science-Based Targets Initiative criteria and assists Newmont in developing specific emissions reduction pathways and meeting the Paris Agreement objective of being well below 2°C global temperature change, the miner says.

To achieve these aims, the company will implement a new energy and climate investment standard, to be combined with its existing investment standards including shadow carbon pricing, in order to further inform its capital investment process, it said.

“This new investment standard will ensure that the 2030 reduction targets are embedded into investment decisions for projects such as fleet vehicles, production equipment, on-site renewable power generation and energy efficiency,” the company said. “Additionally, the company will engage its partners and joint ventures in an effort to align joint venture operations targets and supply chain related emissions with Newmont’s targets.”

Mining is an energy intensive business, with 88% of Newmont’s energy used for mining and milling generated from carbon-based fuels, it said. As the company looks to reduce emissions and move to a low carbon economy, it will use a strategic approach to portfolio development, energy sourcing, fleet and equipment investment, as well as land use planning to achieve its targets.

A key part of Newmont’s accountability in reaching these targets will be reporting via The Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) guidelines. In 2021, the company will issue its first annual TCFD report. The TCFD report will detail Newmont’s governance, strategy and portfolio resilience to a range of climate scenarios. The TCFD report will also track Newmont’s annual progress toward implementing its 2030 strategy, meeting its 2030 targets and executing emissions reduction projects across its global portfolio.

Lost Dutchman Mine ready to tell its metal separation tale

A company out of Arizona, USA, believes it has come up with a density separation technology that could upgrade heavy metal concentrates without the need for water or chemicals.

Lost Dutchman Mine (LDM), named after the legend of a rich Arizona gold deposit discovered by an elusive Dutch prospector, never since located, is the company in question. Being supported along the way by the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI) out of Sudbury, Ontario, the firm is looking to find a way into the mining sector at a time when environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns have reached a new high.

Mark Ogram, one of three Co-founders of LDM, explained the company’s aim and name, saying: “We’ve been able to find gold where people could not find it.

“We have now come up with a solution that requires no chemicals or water to purify a gold ore.”

While gold is the company’s initial focus, the process can be applied to most heavy metals including silver, copper and tungsten, according to Ogram. Some encouraging results have also been seen removing sulphides from gold ore ahead of further processing, in addition to ‘cleaning’ coal, he added.

A gravity separation process that uses air flow rather than water to separate these materials by density, the obvious comparisons are with Knelson concentrators or other separation technologies – all of which tend to use water or another medium for their processes. Ogram says Knelson concentrators are also for free gold, not refractory gold, the latter of which the LDM technology can cope with.

allmineral’s allair® technology also comes to mind as a comparison. This is a process that leverages many of the functions of the water-operated alljig® technology but, instead, uses air as the pulsating medium. So far, allair’s applications have been confined to mostly coal and other minerals.

Like many of these technologies, it is feed preparation that will prove decisive for the application of LDM technology, with ore crush size and moisture content the two key factors.

“We don’t think we would need ball mills to get the feed down to the right size,” LDM Co-founder Ken Abbott said. “A standard crushing and screening setup should be suitable.”

While test work to date has been with material in the 30-60 mesh range, Abbott is confident the technology will work with material from 100-200 mesh.

“It will be a little more of a sensitive process, but it does work should people require it,” he said.

When it comes to moisture content, a drying process will most likely be needed ahead of feeding to the LDM unit.

“The material needs to flow freely to work well,” Abbott said.

In-field test work involved the company using a tumble-type continuous screener/dryer to reach the appropriate moisture content, but a more ‘industrial’ process will be required in commercial applications.

The best results are likely to be achieved when both factors are consistent, according to LDM.

“The system requires a steady and uniform distribution in the feed cycle that includes surge capacity and automated material flow to ensure a steady feed rate,” the company says.

Dale A Shay, a consultant with RIMCON advising LDM, said vat leaching operations were already producing material at the appropriate size for the LDM technology to be tested. “They are also reducing the moisture content to an appropriate level,” he said.

Despite this, the company feels tailings applications may be the most suitable place to start with. This harks back to the ESG concerns miners are feeling – some of which revolves around tailings impoundment areas – as well as the fact the ‘conservative’ mining industry is generally more comfortable testing new technologies on material they already consider to be ‘waste’.

For the technology to prove out, the company will have to scale up its testing.

LDM has, to date, carried out benchtop, laboratory scale and in-field tests on low-grade material, but it has only reached a 1 ton (0.9 t) per hour rate.

“We would put in a tonne and get a few grams out,” Ogram said. “That is how we developed the technology.”

Despite there being a linear progression of recoveries from benchtop to lab to the field, LDM will need to go bigger to find the widescale applications it is after.

Yet, its potential entry into the market is well timed.

Removing the use of chemicals and water in a process that will most likely come after initial crushing could prove cost-effective, as well as environmentally sound.

Yes, the air flow component and feed drying will consume power on mine sites, but this ‘upfront’ operating cost will pay off further downstream as not as much material will be transported to make its way down the process flowsheet. It is more likely to go straight to tailings or backfill material feed.

Abbott explains: “The technology drastically reduces the material that will move onto final concentration, which substantially reduces material movement on site.”

For new developments, there is a knock-on benefit for permitting; the regulatory boxes are much more likely to be ticked when the words ‘water’ and ‘cyanide’ are absent from applications.

LDM Co-founder, Wayne Rod, sums this up: “Although from a cost perspective, it is expected to be competitive with other concentration technologies, the real savings will come on the ESG front and being able to reduce any environmental issues you may have.”

This is a message Rod and the rest of the LDM team are taking to the headquarters of major mining companies, where executives and board members are treating ESG challenges like a ‘cost’ they need to reduce to stay viable.

“As that ESG issue becomes even more prevalent, I see technology becoming a much bigger focus area,” Rod says. “Taking water and chemicals out of the concentration process will help alleviate some of that pressure.”

RPMGlobal adds to ESG capabilities

RPMGlobal says it has bolstered its in-house environmental, social and governance (ESG) capabilities with the appointment of Luke Stephens as Principal Social Specialist for the company’s Consulting & Advisory division.

Stephens, a mining social performance professional with more than 20 years’ of international experience, has a strong track record in social licence, community relations, social performance, multi-stakeholder partnerships, grievance management, government and donor relations, according to RPMGlobal.

Prior to joining RPMGlobal, Stephens was the Principal Closure and Sustainability Specialist for Afrique Gold and worked with Newcrest Mining as Superintendent for Social Performance. He also spent numerous years with aid and humanitarian agency, Concern Worldwide.

Since 1998, he has implemented best-practice community programs in mining and alongside local communities across Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia, according to RPMGlobal.

Philippe Baudry, RPMGlobal’s Executive General Manager – Advisory Services, said the appointment reflected the company’s increased investment in ESG capabilities.

“Environmental, social and governance matters are now at the top of the corporate agenda which is being reflected in increased demand for our environmental and social due diligence expertise,” he said.

“We are certainly witnessing more mining companies investing in building sustainable ESG opportunities that create positive outcomes and mitigate project risk with the demand from investors for transparency in these critical areas of project development only increasing.

“This new appointment is a valuable addition to our expanding ESG team and Luke’s combined skillset will prove invaluable to RPMGlobal as we continue to expand our offerings and drive positive impact for global mining communities and their investors.”

RPMGlobal’s ESG division specialises in environmental and social due diligence evaluations and audits of mining projects located throughout the world with projects completed in Australia, the Americas, Africa, Turkey, Russia and the CIS countries.

“RPMGlobal’s growing ESG team has significant experience in advising its clients in how to bring projects up to IFC-PS and Equator Principle 4 requirements, as well as in the laws and regulations applicable in most mining jurisdictions with expertise spanning environmental and social action plans, social licence, community engagement, local consultation, land acquisition, compliance with regional and national regulations, grievance redress and management,” RPMGlobal said.

Denver-based Stephens said: “To join a growing and talented team of professionals at a company which is a leader in the ESG field is a fantastic opportunity and it’s exciting to come on board at such a pivotal time of growth for this division at RPMGlobal.”

Baudry added: “RPMGlobal prides itself in providing high quality ESG services that lead to improved financial, environmental and social outcomes for our mining customers and its pleasing to be expanding the team with highly credentialed appointments alongside our commitment.”

Newmont lauded for leading ESG practices

Newmont, this week, has been recognised by a trio of independent organisations for its management performance and social responsibility, action on climate-related issues and advancing women in the workplace.

The leading gold miner, which is scheduled to produce 6.4 Moz of gold in 2020, ranked as the top mining company on FORTUNE’s 2020 list of the World’s Most Admired Companies based on an in-depth global survey conducted by the magazine. It posted strong scores across several dimensions, including quality of management, social responsibility, long-term investment, people management and innovation, it said.

At the same time as this, for 2019, Newmont earned a ‘B’ in CDP’s (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) Climate Change assessment, reflecting the company’s coordinated action on climate issues.

“Newmont was recognised for strong climate governance and financial planning in response to climate-related impacts,” the miner said, adding that it ranked above average for all responders in the metallic minerals mining sector and all business sectors in North America and globally.

For the second consecutive year, Newmont was also included in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the company’s efforts to advance qualified women in the workplace. Newmont is one of 325 companies, spanning 50 industries globally, to be included in this year’s GEI.

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Continuing to thrive in our next 100 years will require strong and transparent corporate governance, responsible environmental stewardship, and a diverse and inclusive workplace that allows us to attract and retain top talent.

“Aligning our business strategy with the interests of our shareholders and stakeholders through leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices is key to creating sustainable, long-term value in the years and decades ahead.”

In December, Newmont was ranked the top mining company in Newsweek’s first-ever list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for 2020. Of the 300 businesses selected for inclusion in Newsweek’s index, the company placed 39th overall.

This followed, in September 2019, Newmont being named the top global gold mining company on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the fifth consecutive year, being the overall mining and metals industry leader for four of those years.

Newmont Goldcorp wins mining gold again for ESG practices

Newmont Goldcorp has made it onto the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) for the 12th consecutive year, also being named the top global gold mining company.

Newmont, which added Goldcorp to its mining mix earlier this year, was the first gold company named to the index in 2007. It was recognised for its leading environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance as the Metals and Mining sector leader by the index for a fourth year in a row in 2018.

Tom Palmer, President of Newmont Goldcorp, said: “Leading ESG performance not only helps us manage risk and create value for our stakeholders, it is also an indicator that our business is well-managed and positioned for long-term success.

“It is thanks to our employees’ strong commitment to our values that we are able to consistently demonstrate leading sustainability performance in our sector. While we are honoured to be included again on the DJSI, we recognise there is always room for improvement and will continue working to drive our performance to higher levels.”

DJSI evaluates companies based on a corporate sustainability assessment (CSA) conducted by Swiss-based RobecoSAM, a sustainability asset management, analysis and investment firm. The CSA evaluates 20 financially material sustainability criteria across economic, environmental and social dimensions.

Newmont Goldcorp said: “The DJSI’s results provide comparable and actionable data that allows investors to integrate ESG factors into their investment decisions, while identifying those companies that are well-positioned to address current and future sustainability-driven challenges and opportunities.”

The company said it ranked in the 100th percentile for leading performance in the following areas:

  • Economic: corporate governance, risk and crisis management, and materiality;
  • Environmental: management of water-related risks; and
  • Social: Labour practices, corporate citizenship, and talent attraction and retention.

Manjit Jus, Head of ESG Ratings, RobecoSAM, said: “We congratulate Newmont Goldcorp for being included in the DJSI World and the DJSI North America indices. The SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment has again raised the bar in identifying those companies best-positioned to address future sustainability challenges and opportunities.”

World Gold Council formalises ESG standards for miners

The World Gold Council (WGC), the market development organisation for the gold industry, has announced the launch of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles.

The principles are a framework that set out expectations for consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining, the WGC said.

Working with the world’s leading gold mining companies – the WGC’s members – the council has set out the principles it believes address key environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for the gold mining sector.

The principles focus on 10 key areas. Under the governance section, this includes ethical conduct, “understanding our impacts” and the supply chain. Social concerns include safety and health, human rights and conflict, labour rights and working with communities. The remaining three in the environmental bracket are environmental stewardship, biodiversity, and water, energy and climate change.

It is the World Gold Council’s aim that the Responsible Gold Mining Principles become a credible and widely recognised framework through which gold mining companies can provide confidence that their gold has been produced responsibly, the WGC said, acknowledging that ESG considerations are becoming increasingly important to consumers.

Companies implementing the Responsible Gold Mining Principles will be required to obtain external assurance from a third party, independent assurance provider. This will provide further confidence to purchasers of gold that the gold they buy is responsibly mined and sourced, it said.

Gary Goldberg, CEO of Newmont Goldcorp, who oversaw this initiative on behalf of the Board of the World Gold Council, said: “Adherence to strong ESG principles should be a key part of any responsible gold mining business and, as such, the members of the World Gold Council have collaborated, along with key industry stakeholders, to develop the Responsible Gold Mining Principles.

“Given the Members’ sustained focus on improving ESG performance, the formalisation of the Responsible Gold Mining Principles is a natural evolution of our daily working practices. It is my hope that these principles will be widely adopted, not only by member companies, but by the industry more broadly.”

Terry Heymann, Chief Financial Officer of the WGC, said it was the council’s aim that the principles reinforce trust in gold and the gold mining industry.

“Consumers, investors and the downstream gold supply chain will be able to know, with confidence, that their gold has been responsibly sourced,” he said. “The principles incorporate feedback from more than 200 organisations and individuals over two rounds of consultation and are designed to support the efficient operation of the gold market.”

Sphera to increase risk reach with acquisition of thinkstep

Integrated risk management company, Sphera has entered into an agreement to acquire Stuttgart, Germany-based thinkstep in a deal that could see the creation of an “all-encompassing sustainability, health, safety, risk and product stewardship platform”.

In recent years, thinkstep, a software consulting services company specialising in corporate sustainability and product stewardship, successfully transformed its business model into a Software-as-a-Service-based solution. “Combined with thinkstep’s exceptional client base, this transition allowed it to take a major step forward in the company´s development,” Sphera said.

Sphera says 60 of the top 100 global metals and mining companies use its solutions for continuous improvement of core work processes, with today’s sector-wide operating principal of sustainable development making its offering even more important. One of its customers is Vale, which used Sphera’s environmental health and safety (EH&S) framework to integrate and prioritise risks from across its global operaitons.

Terms of the deal, which is pending customary German regulatory approvals for mergers and acquisitions, were not disclosed.

Sphera said: “thinkstep’s corporate sustainability software, implementation and consulting services simplify enterprise-wide sustainability reporting, risk management, audits, strategy and resource optimisation. The company’s product stewardship software and consulting services assist in designing more sustainable products and in managing product compliance across the lifecycle.”

Paul Marushka, Sphera’s President and CEO (pictured), said thinkstep’s cloud-based and on-premise software, data and expertise in the corporate sustainability and product stewardship markets advance the company’s mission of “creating a safer, more sustainable and productive world”, adding that thinkstep’s presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific, extended Sphera’s geographic footprint further.

Jan Poulsen, thinkstep CEO, said: “thinkstep offers our customers more than 30 years of experience in the field of sustainability. Adding our advanced software solutions, extensive LCA and eco-profile databases, and sustainability expertise to Sphera’s EH&S solutions is a very attractive business combination that will allow us to serve our extensive customer base more broadly going forward.”