The Responsible Mining Foundation has rated highly, the mining giant, Newmont, for showing a stronger result in Community Wellbeing and Environmental Responsibility in its area of operations.

The Responsible Mining Index (RMI) 2020, is an evidence-based assessment of 38 large-scale mining companies’ policies and practices on economic, environmental, social and governance (EESG) matters, and covers human rights as a transversal issue that touches on many different aspects of company actions.

According to the report, in Community Wellbeing, Newmont is the only assessed company to have made a formal commitment to respect the rights of human rights defenders, and shows one of the better results on having systems to assess and address the potential impacts of involuntary displacement.

“These relatively strong results reflect Newmont continuous improvement since the RMI Report 2018, as the company has produced a new policy statement on human rights defenders and has developed new management standards on engaging with Indigenous Peoples and managing involuntary resettlement”, the report added.

Regarding Environmental Responsibility, Newmont, according to the report showed relatively stronger results on three issues: having systems designed to ensure its operations plan and implement water stewardship strategies, tracking its performance on biodiversity management, and taking a systematic approach to assessing and addressing the risks of its use and production of hazardous materials.

The 2020 Responsible Mining Index (RMI) which is available to ghenvironment.org, also ranked Newmont 9th among the 38 companies on its mine-site-level results, though with an average score of only 19%.

On Economic Development, Newmont showed the stronger results on developing procurement opportunities for national-level suppliers in producing countries.

The report however observed that, Newmont’s overall results are limited by a lack of evidence on a number of issues.

“The issues include for example a systematic approach to integrating ESG issues into its investment decision-making processes, planning for post- closure just transition for workers, assessing and addressing its impacts on land use and land access for affected communities, and addressing the health and safety needs of women workers’, the report said.

It said “Moreover, none of the five Newmont mine sites included in the mine-site assessment show any evidence relating to the disclosure of their air quality data or discussions with affected communities on the actions these operations are taking to manage air quality. There is also very limited evidence of these sites engaging with affected communities on the issue of post-closure planning”.

The report however noted that, Newmont could do better by strengthening its project-level disclosure of the payments it makes to sub-national and national governments in producing countries.

About Responsible Mining Foundation

The Responsible Mining Foundation (RMF) is an independent research organisation that encourages continuous improvement in in responsible mining across the industry by developing tools and frameworks, sharing public-interest data and enabling informed and constructive engagement between mining companies and other stakeholders.

By Awudu Salami Sulemana Yoda