Tag Archives: Tom Palmer

Newmont sets up global centre to promote meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples

Newmont Corp has launched the Newmont Global Center for Indigenous Community Relations as a key part of the company’s aim to promote meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples.

The centre will be a resource for the company and the mining industry as a way to promote awareness, education and engagement between industry and Indigenous Peoples, the gold miner said.

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, explained: “Newmont recognises the special connection between Indigenous Peoples and the land, and that mining can affect this connection in some challenging ways. The entire industry has a great opportunity to learn and improve our practices.

“Through the centre, meaningful partnerships will be formed to create a space for dialogue and sharing with the aim of improving outcomes for Indigenous communities around our operations and act as a catalyst for improvement within the mining industry.”

The centre seeks to establish a respected source of dialogue, collective knowledge and experiences in order to improve the company’s practices and contribute in advancing the industry’s approach to engagement with Indigenous communities, Newmont said. It has identified three focus areas and a set of three-year strategic objectives to orient meaningful outcomes. These focus areas are:

  • Partnership and learning network;
  • Respect for customs and culture; and
  • Opportunities for Indigenous People.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, the centre will work collaboratively with the Advisory Council on Indigenous Community Relations, a group of external experts who advise the Safety and Sustainability Committee of the Board of Directors.

An internal working group comprised of diverse representatives from within Newmont will also share experiences, best practices and identify ways to improve collaboration. The centre will work across all of Newmont’s jurisdictions around the world, the miner said.

Newmont overcomes COVID-19 challenges to complete Musselwhite gold mine work

Newmont says it has successful completed two key projects at its Musselwhite mine at Lake Opapimiskan, Ontario, Canada, with the full commissioning of the mine’s conveyor system and the material handling project.

Newmont’s President and CEO, Tom Palmer, said: “I am extremely proud of the work that has been completed by the team at Musselwhite to safely deliver these two critical projects, whilst managing through the unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19. Musselwhite is an important part of our North America region, and with the commissioning of these two projects is positioned to contribute to Newmont’s portfolio for many years to come.”

The conveyor system and the material handling systems work in association to efficiently move material from deeper mine levels to the surface, according to Newmont. Haul distances are reduced as the ore crushed at depth will be hoisted from the underground crushers to the conveyor system and brought to the surface for processing.

Work on the $90 million materials handling project to improve the movement of ore to the mill started back in 2016.

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.

Mexico miners to suspend operations for April following government decree

Mexico has become the latest country to enforce a suspension of non-essential activities in response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its Ministry of Health ordering a temporary halt of activities until April 30 in order to slow the virus spread.

Mexico is the world’s largest silver producer, having produced 6,300 t of the precious metal in 2019, according to the US Geological Survey. This was an increase of 180 t, year-on-year. It is also hosts major copper and zinc mines operated by Grupo Mexico and Southern Copper, and produces a significant amount of gold.

It joins the likes of Peru, Quebec and South Africa in declaring suspensions of all non-essential activities in order to curb the spread of the virus.

Among the miners with operations in the country to have already reacted to the Mexico Ministry of Health’s announcement was Newmont, Pan American Silver, Sierra Metals and Argonaut Gold.

Newmont, which operates the Peñasquito mine in the state of Zacatecas, said it was taking steps towards a safe and orderly ramp down of operations at the asset.

“At this time, mining has not been deemed an essential activity under the decree and the company is engaging with the government to understand the intended impacts of the decree on operations,” it said.

“Peñasquito will work closely with local governments, neighbouring communities, employees, unions and contractors to ensure a safe and orderly ramp down that complies with the federal government’s directives.”

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newmont, said the company intended to comply with Mexico’s latest directive, while engaging with the government to gain further clarity regarding “important activities that may continue at the mine”.

In the meantime, the company would ensure Peñasquito, which is the largest gold mine, second largest silver mine and one of the largest producers of zinc and lead in Mexico, remains well-positioned to safely and efficiently ramp up operations in a timely manner once the government’s directive is lifted, Palmer added. This includes maintaining critical safety, environmental management, infrastructure maintenance and security activities, while continuing to provide essential community support.

Pan American Silver, which operates the La Colorada (Zacatecas, pictured) and Dolores (Chihuahua) operations in Mexico, said it would expand its initiative of reducing the number of people on site to increase physical distancing, to bring the mines into compliance with the executive order.

It is continuing to conduct care and maintenance at the suspended operations to sustain strict safety and environmental systems, and to ensure operational readiness when the government restrictions are lifted and Pan American determines it is safe to resume operations, it added.

La Colorada produced 8.2 Moz of silver in 2019, while Dolores’ output came in at 5.1 Moz.

As a result of this declaration, Sierra Metals said it will only maintain an essential services crew at its Bolivar mine site until April 30, and the Cusi mine site will be placed into care and maintenance during this period. “The company anticipates resuming normal production levels at the mines after this period,” it said.

Bolivar, an underground mine with a 3,600 t/d processing capacity, had previously been expected to produce 16,402- 18,225 t of copper-equivalent in 2020, while the Cusi underground mine was down to produce 1,732-2,126 oz of silver.

Sierra Metals added: “Production can recommence to normal levels very quickly after April 30, and the company has some operating flexibility at Bolivar to run the ore processing mill at higher levels, which should help recover lost ore tonnages from this suspension.”

Argonaut Gold, which is looking to merge with Alio Gold – a transaction that will see it increase its Mexico exposure – said it was working towards an orderly suspension of mining, crushing and stacking activities at its El Castillo gold-silver open-pit mine in Durango, and its La Colorada open-pit operation in Sonora. These assets produced 131,277 gold-equivalent ounces and 55,338 gold-equivalent ounces, respectively, in 2019.

The company added: “Given that Argonaut operates heap leach mines, the company expects metal production and metal sales will continue during the temporary suspension of mining activities.”

Newmont withdraws 2020 guidance as four mines go into care and maintenance mode

Newmont says it is withdrawing its full-year 2020 guidance after placing four of its operations into temporary care and maintenance mode in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said these actions could see some production deferred into 2021, potentially impacting costs in 2020 if the suspensions continue for an extended period. This meant its guidance of 6.4 Moz of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $975/oz for 2020, given in early January, would no longer stand.

For the March quarter, Newmont said it expected to produce some 1.4 Moz of attributable gold and around 325,000 of “co-product gold equivalent ounces”. Year-to-date through February 29, Newmont had produced around 981,000 oz of attributable gold and some 227,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces, it said.

“Newmont continues to work proactively with logistics partners and refiners to transport and refine product in a challenging environment,” it said. “We are not currently experiencing significant delays in the shipping of concentrate or transportation and refining of doré, but they may occur in the coming days and weeks if certain government-required shutdowns and border restrictions occur.”

Mines representing around 80% of the company’s production outlook for 2020 continue operating in line with production targets for the year, it said. These operations have implemented heightened levels of health screening, along with support services being conducted remotely.

“If at any point the company determines that continuing operations poses an increased risk to our workforce or host communities, we will reduce operational activities up to and including care and maintenance and management of critical environmental systems,” the company added.

Yet, in order to protect nearby communities and align with travel restrictions or health considerations in Argentina, Canada and Peru, four of its operations are being temporarily put into care and maintenance.

“The operations will be positioned so they can safely and quickly resume normal operations once protective measures have been lifted,” the company said.

The operations being placed into care and maintenance mode includ:

  • Musselwhite: Newmont has decided to limit personnel on site to minimise fly-in/fly-out activity to prevent the possible transmission of the virus into communities, including nearby First Nations communities in northern Ontario – essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management and provide security;
  • Eléonore (pictured: Credit Osisko Gold Royalties): Newmont has decided to limit personnel on site to comply with the Quebec government’s restriction on non-essential travel within the province and to prevent the possible transmission of the virus into communities, including nearby First Nations communities – essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management and provide security;
  • Cerro Negro: Newmont will have to limit personnel on site due to the halt of all domestic flights and mass transportation in Argentina through March 31 – remaining on site will be essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management, provide security and continue ground control activities; and
  • Yanacocha: As previously disclosed, mining operations were in the process of safely ramping down due to government travel restrictions in-country, while gold production from leach pads and critical safety, security and environmental management activities continue

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newmont, said: “Our business continuity plans and rapid response teams have been fully mobilised in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“We are working closely with host communities, First Nations and other indigenous peoples, regional and national governments and health experts to protect our workforce and nearby communities. This includes putting some operations temporarily into care and maintenance while others continue to operate at targeted production levels.

“We are also making sure that these short-term disruptions do not impact long-term business value while ensuring we are well-positioned to safely and efficiently ramp-up operations in a timely manner once the worst of this global pandemic passes.”

Measures taken at Newmont operations and offices globally include:

  • Cancelling all non-essential travel;
  • Enhanced temperature and questionnaire screening at entry points to sites;
  • Establishing flexible and remote working plans for employees;
  • Establishing screening for fly-in-fly-out employees prior to their departures from their home communities;
  • Mandatory self-quarantine for anyone who has travelled internationally or has any flu-like symptoms;
  • Providing logistical and health care support to nearby communities where needed; and
  • Established a global supply chain task force to assess all potential risks and develop viable contingency plans that enable us to stay ahead of any potential supply disruptions.

Caterpillar to help Newmont’s Boddington gold mine go autonomous

Newmont’s Boddington operation, in Australia, is to become the world’s first open-pit gold mine with an autonomous haul truck fleet after the miner’s Board of Directors unanimously approved investment in an Autonomous Haulage System (AHS) from Caterpillar.

The move, which will enhance safety and productivity and is expected to be fully operational in 2021, will also see the Boddington mine life extended, according to Newmont.

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Not only does Boddington continue to deliver strong performance, our investment in autonomous haul trucks will generate an internal rate of return greater than 35% with a more controlled and efficient haulage operation.

“We are also uniquely positioned in the gold sector to support effective implementation and operation of the fleet thanks to the technical capabilities and previous experience of leaders in our business. Simply put, Boddington will be a safer, more productive world-class gold mine in a top-tier jurisdiction.”

Total net investment in Boddington’s AHS will be $150 million, with efficiencies expected to extend the mine’s life by at least two years, Newmont said. The project will involve adding some new AHS-enabled Caterpillar 793Fs to the haulage fleet and retrofitting some existing 793Fs with AHS capabilities, a Newmont spokesperson confirmed. The company said it also saw additional upside potential from the replication of the AHS at other Newmont operations.

The company said: “Boddington’s autonomous Caterpillar haul trucks will feature rigorous safety controls that reduce employee exposure to potential vehicle interactions. No injuries have been recorded from AHS operations since their introduction into the mining industry.”

Newmont said it is also executing a “robust people strategy” at Boddington, providing opportunities for reskilling and redeployment of haul truck drivers to other roles supporting the AHS.

Boddington is Western Australia’s largest gold producer, delivering 709,000 oz of gold and 77 MIb (34,927 t) of copper in 2018. The mine directly employs around 2,000 people and is located 135 km southeast of Perth in Western Australia.

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.

Jim Cooper to optimise Newmont’s Peñasquito gold mine

Newmont has decided to transfer Jim Cooper, General Manager of the Boddington mine in Australia, to lead the Peñasquito mine, in Mexico, in order to optimise the asset.

Cooper will assume leadership of Peñasquito in the March quarter and report to Dan Janney, Newmont’s Regional Senior Vice President for North America.

Peñasquito is one of several assets where the company intends to deliver cost and productivity improvements over the next few years, with Newmont seeing potential for debottlenecking the mill feed and lowering mining costs.

Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Under Jim’s leadership, Boddington has delivered step-change improvements in safety, mill throughput and recovery, mine plan sequencing and execution.

“Boddington’s scale and processing characteristics are similar to Peñasquito’s, making Jim uniquely qualified to replicate Boddington’s consistently strong performance at Peñasquito in Mexico.”

Jen Bennett, currently serving as Vice President of Operations for Newmont’s South America region, will succeed Jim to lead Boddington and build on the operation’s success through a continued focus on safe, efficient production, and project delivery, the company said.

Peñasquito’s current General Manager, Brian Berney, will focus on government and community engagement in Mexico while supporting an effective transition with Cooper.

In October, Peñasquito’s production was halted for close to two weeks following an illegal blockade. This followed another illegal blockade, earlier that year, involving trucking contractors.

The mine produced 272,000 oz of gold in 2018.

Newmont Goldcorp delivers the hat-trick with Ahafo mill expansion

Newmont Goldcorp has announced that the Ahafo mill expansion in Ghana achieved commercial production, on schedule and within budget for around $175 million.

Combined with the Subika Underground operation, which was successfully completed in November 2018, the mill expansion is expected to increase Ahafo’s average annual gold production to between 550,000-650,000 oz/y through 2024, while lowering life-of-mine processing costs.

“The Ahafo mill expansion represents our third profitable project delivered on schedule and within budget in 2019, along with the Tanami power project in Australia and the Borden mine in Canada,” said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The mill expansion is expected to generate an internal rate of return of more than 20% at a $1,200 gold price, while also extending profitable production at Ahafo through at least 2029.”

Features and benefits of the mill expansion include:

  • Increasing mill capacity at Ahafo by more than 50% to nearly 10 Mt/y with the addition of a crusher, grinding mill and leach tanks to the circuit;
  • Adding annual gold production of 75,000 to 100,000 oz/y for the first five full years beginning in 2020;
  • Accelerating efficient processing of ore from stockpiles and the Subika underground mine, as well as harder, lower-grade ore from Ahafo’s existing pits; and
  • Supporting profitable development of Ahafo’s highly prospective underground resources, which continue to demonstrate considerable upside.

Ahafo is expected to deliver record production this year – with improved costs – driven by higher grades from the Subika open pit, a full year of mining from the Subika underground mine and the completion of the Ahafo mill expansion.

Commercial production began at Ahafo in 2006, and, in 2018, the operation sold 436,000 oz of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $864 per ounce.

Newmont Goldcorp’s ‘all-electric’ Borden mine reaches new milestone

Close to a week after cutting the ribbon on its Borden mine, near Chapleau, Ontario, Newmont Goldcorp has achieved commercial production safely, on schedule and within budget at the ‘all-electric’ mine.

The mine features state-of-the-art health and safety controls, digital mining technologies and processes, and low-carbon energy vehicles – the latter provided by the likes of Sandvik and MacLean Engineering.

Tom Palmer, Newmont Goldcorp President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Consistent project delivery and disciplined operational execution remain cornerstones of our business and are central to creating long-term shareholder value. Borden joins the next generation of Newmont Goldcorp mines and leverages our leading land position to anchor this new gold district in Ontario.”

At 1,000 sq.km, Borden’s land package represents additional exploration upside as the deposit remains open at depth in a favorable mining jurisdiction, according to the miner. Ore from Borden is processed at the existing mill at Porcupine, in Timmins, profitably extending operations at the gold mining complex.

In recognition of Borden’s contribution to the future of safe and sustainable mining, the Canadian and Ontario governments each granted C$5 million ($3.8 million) towards electrification of the mine.