Long before construction of the Merian Gold Project in Suriname began in August 2014, Surgold (Newmont’s fully owned subsidiary and manager of the project) spent more than 10 years building relationships with the Pamaka community to foster mutual respect and understanding.
As outlined in our Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy, Newmont is committed to building long-term relationships based on trust. These relationships form the foundation for creating shared value so that both Newmont and its host communities can develop sustainably.
The Pamaka Maroon tribe participated in the scoping, screening and assessment phases of the Merian project’s environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA). An independent, third-party consultant led the process of identifying potential project impacts specific to the Pamaka community and proposed mitigation plans based on their input.
During the preliminary screening and scoping phase, stakeholder engagement activities included meetings and one-on-one interviews between Surgold, government agencies, traditional authorities, community representatives, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These meetings provided an opportunity for stakeholders from the capital city of Paramaribo to the furthest Pamaka village of Loka Loka to learn about the project, voice concerns, and provide input into Surgold’s community development and environmental monitoring programs. More information about the process and the final ESIA is available on our website.
In August 2013, Surgold and the Pamaka community signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) outlining how we would work together in a mutually beneficial way. As part of the LoI, Surgold and the Pamaka people are in the process of developing a full cooperation agreement that defines each group’s roles and responsibilities for implementing programs relating to local employment and procurement, environmental monitoring, health and safety, and small-scale mining. The agreement will also include a Pamaka community development fund, a complaint and grievance mechanism, and communication processes.
Through consistent and thoughtful engagement with the government, civil society organizations and local community members, Surgold is committed to constructing and operating the Merian Project in a manner that generates long-term, sustainable social and economic benefits for the people of Suriname.