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Newmont Corporation: Developing South America’s Mining Industry

Newmont Corporation is home to a vast portfolio of world-class assets, prospects and talent operating across multiple mining jurisdictions spanning the globe, from the Americas, Australia, and Africa. Newmont is a world-leading gold mining company, with many favourable operations also producing copper, silver, zinc, and lead across the globe. However, Newmont is focused on creating value throughout its operations by following strict safety standards, superior execution regulations and a leading level of technical proficiency that has established it as a leading player in the international mining sector.

Newmont began its operation focusing on the natural resources industry that mines gold, copper, silver, lead, zinc, lithium, uranium, coal, nickel, and various aggregates, as well as helping facilitate key developments in the oil and gas industry. However, today thanks to its continued development since it began publicly trading in 1925, Newmont now has a portfolio that is unmatched across the mining industry with more than half of the world’s Tier 1 assets, including many long-life operations, value-accretive projects, abundant exploration opportunities and world-class talent. This is why it is the only gold producer now listed on the S&P 500 Index. The company’s assets, prospects and people have allowed it to continue to expand its reach across the globe, as it continues to work to create value and opportunities for its shareholders, host communities and employees across every mining operation.

A central mining area for Newmont is in South America where its operations continue to develop the regions on both local and international scales through value-adding mining operations which support employment opportunities across the region. A key site for gold mining for Newmont is the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic. The mine operation is located 100km northwest of Santa Domingo and began construction in 2005, with commercial production beginning in 2013. The site is one of the largest gold assets in the world, however, it also produces silver and copper. The Pueblo Viejo Mine project is jointly owned by Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Corporation, with Newmont having a 40% ownership in the project. The site includes two open pits, a processing plant, and a storage facility which is operated by Barrick Gold Corporation.

The Pueblo Viejo Mine project has a 97% Dominican workforce as part of the jointly owned operation’s desire to ensure that all of its operations are creating value for the people that their mining projects affect. By employing a largely Dominican workforce, the companies are making the most of the expertise on the ground and providing those closest to the operations with economic development and growth through employment at the mine site and subsequent processing operations.

To make the Pueblo Viejo Mine project more sustainable the mine’s Quisqueya 1 Power Plant was converted to natural gas from fuel oil. This conversion took place in 2020 as a measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 85%. This shift is just one way the mine site is hoping to continue to reduce its environmental impact because, for Newmont, operating in a way that respects the environment as much as possible whilst also using its operation to add value to the mined resources is crucial.

The mine operation at Pueblo Viejo announced just last year that the engineering design of the El Naranjo Tailing Storage Facility that operates within the mine operation will extend its life to 2040 and beyond. This continued development is expected to sustain gold production above 800 thousand ounces (Koz) per year (100% basis) going forward. The extension will require comprehensive engineering, environmental and community involvement, which is expected to be conducted over several years. The hope is that Pueblo Viejo will help to double its existing contributions to the Dominican Republic’s economy and continue to do so for many years to come.

Another key site of operation for Newmont is in Suriname at the Merian Mine. Newmont Suriname LLC is the fully owned subsidiary of the Newmont Goldcorp Corporation which operates the Merian Mine on behalf of Suriname Gold Project CV – a Suriname Limited partnership. Newmont Suriname owns a 75% interest in the limited partnership with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V., Suriname’s state-owned oil company, which owns the remaining 35% interest. The Merian Mine is an open pit mine for gold which began construction in 2014. The mine has a mine life of 12-14 years and is committed to partnering with the Surinamese government, the local population, the Pamaka community and the Kawina community, to create value and improve lives through sustainable and responsible mining practices.

As part of Newmont Suriname’s keen commitment to the local community through the Merian Mine, it established a Community Development Fund (CDF) in 2016 with the goal of regularly contributing to sustainable projects which will benefit the Pamaka community. These projects have included providing drinking water, electrical supply, and agricultural projects to develop the local regions towards success. Furthermore, Newmont Suriname is currently in deliberation with the local Kawina community who have been impacted by the Merian activities to find a way that this community can also reap key benefits from Newmont’s mining activities within its community. Consequently, Newmont is committed to continuing its close engagement with government and local community members to advance the development of the project in a manner that will generate sustainable economic and social benefits for people across Suriname.

A further significant development for the Newmont Corporation in South America is in the Yanacocha Mine located 800 kilometres northeast of Lima, Peru. The project invested more than $1 billion in environmental and social responsibility projects between 1993 and 2012 and remains committed to investing in the local community for many years to come. The Yanacocha Mine is South America’s largest gold mine which is situated between 3,500 and 4,100 meters above sea level and has development activities in four primary basins. The mine is wholly owned by Newmont and remains one of its largest mining operations in South America.

Yanachocha is a surface mine, which poured its first gold ore bar in 1993 and has an annual gold production of 270 Koz. However, whilst being Newmont’s largest gold mine operation it is keenly concerned with creating profitable production that generates sustainable developments and opportunity for the region. It plans to do this through its key guiding values of integrity, trust and respect which saw it establish the Asociación Los Andes de Cajamarca (ALAC) to promote sustainable development in the Cajamarca region. The activities of ALAC are focused primarily on three areas: entrepreneurial development, institutional capacity building and human capital development. Through its ALAC organisation, it can focus on bringing greater development across health infrastructures and services, its farming initiatives, and its non-profit farming organisation FONCREAGRO, all with the combined aim of bringing economic development on a local and regional level.

The final key operation of Newmont in South America is in Argentina at the Cerro Negro project. The mine complex sits 600 metres above sea level on the low Patagonian plains in the southern part of the country. The complex includes 3 high-grade underground operating mines including Eureka, Mariana Central and Mariana Norte. However, the complex has many sites of development including 2 underground deposits being developed (Emilia and San Marcos), and 5 other deposits in late-stage evaluation which are hoping to expand the existing operations in Mariana’s complex and establish operations across the eastern district. The Newmont Cerro Negro complex is a key site of development for the company with a vast range of deposits currently being developed to continue to bring Newmont and the local community in the province of Santa Cruz continued economic development.

These key mining operations in South America have established the vital role that the region plays in developing the mining industry towards continued global success. We can see from all of its operations across the Dominican Republic, Suriname, Peru and Argentina that the central focus for Newmont is to develop, support and develop the mining industry in South America whilst always prioritising the impact its operations will have on local communities. By working with the local communities at each respective mine site, Newmont ensures that its operations are always positively impacting the people and the environment. The company’s focus on opening a dialogue and implementing employment opportunities, alongside its implementation of strict regulations and certifications for its operations, has ensured that every aspect of its mining remains governed by national and local environmental standards. We look forward to seeing how Newmont continues to develop its global reach, and specifically how it will develop its South American operations over the coming years as it continues to be a world-leading gold company.