"Looking at the locations in which we operate, gold mining by reputable companies plays a huge role in creating wealth and improving the lives of local communities."
Can you provide an overview of Newmont’s portfolio of mines in Ontario?
Newmont has a significant presence in Ontario, which includes the Musselwhite mine, the Porcupine gold mines complex, and the Borden mine. Our Musselwhite mine is a fly-in fly-out operation that has already produced over 4 million oz Au since it was commissioned, and produces in the region of 200,000 oz/y. It has had considerable investment in recent times, including a new conveying system and a crushing material handling system that allows us to move ore more efficiently at depth. As the pandemic was unfolding in 2020 we proactively put the mine into care and maintenance and did not bring it back into operation until we could ensure the health and safety of our workers and local communities.
Porcupine is located in and around the city of Timmins and is made up of a number of operations and processing plants, including the Hoyle Pond underground mine and Hollinger open pit mine. Hollinger is nearing the end of its mine life, but we are just starting to bring on another nearby open pit.
Our Borden mine, which opened in 2019, feeds ore to the processing facilities in Timmins at the Porcupine complex. Borden is a mine of the future where we are looking to use electric technology, not only for that mine, but to prove the technology up and replicate it elsewhere, much like we are doing with autonomous haulage at Boddington in Australia.
Can you elaborate on Newmont’s decarbonization initiatives?
In 2020, Newmont led the gold industry to set targets for 2030 for the reduction of scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions. We are committed to reducing our scope 1 and 2 emissions by more than 30%, and our scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2030, with the ultimate goal of being net zero by 2050. Newmont will have those targets signed off by the Science-Based Target Initiative (SBTI), and we are committing US$500 million over the next five years to support these targets.
In the decarbonization effort we are working on three main areas. First of all, continuous improvement; we have a program called Full Potential which has been in place for over eight years and delivered more than US$4 billion of value across our operations. It is predicated upon all 12 of Newmont’s managed operations having a set of improvement projects, which include carbon reduction initiatives in their business plans. The second big area is renewable energy, where we can use wind and solar to replace other forms of electricity generation around our business. This will be the key step change for Newmont as the decade progresses. The third area is how to introduce and support new technologies such as bringing in hydrogen or battery electric to replace diesel.
Can you outline Newmont’s vision for ESG?
We have been on an ESG journey for over 30 years and have learned a lot of hard lessons from different experiences around the world.
Newmont started reporting transparently 17 years ago, publishing a sustainability report with set targets that measured performance. We were also a founding member of ICMM, which has a strong focus on sustainability. From a governance standpoint, Newmont has had an executive accounting for sustainability for over 15 years, and a safety and sustainability committee to continuously improve our standards for over 15 years.
Newmont’s purpose as a company is to create value and improve lives through responsible, sustainable mining. Looking at the locations in which we operate, gold mining by reputable companies plays a huge role in creating wealth and improving the lives of local communities. As the world’s largest gold mining company, we look to set a standard that others can follow, and this is why the ESG piece is so important.
When it comes to decarbonization, as gold operations are developed, you will see more copper-gold mines coming online, such as Yanacocha or our projects in British Columbia. Newmont will always remain a gold miner, but copper and gold produced together will go hand in hand as a very important metal for decarbonization, along with a very important metal in terms of a store of wealth that improves lives.