As a founding member of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Newmont takes seriously our responsibility to create shared value and foster sustainable development in the communities where we operate.
This month, the ICMM Council of CEOs – which includes Newmont President and CEO Gary Goldberg – approved an ‘Indigenous Peoples and Mining’ position statement.
The position statement complements not only our efforts to develop informed and collaborative approaches to community engagement but also the continuous improvement we have been making as outlined in the lessons learned from the Community Relationships Review.
The position statement requires that ICMM member companies will:
- Respect the rights, interests, special connections to lands and waters, and perspectives of indigenous peoples where mining projects are to be located on lands traditionally owned by or under customary use of indigenous peoples.
- Adopt and apply engagement and consultation processes that ensure the meaningful participation of indigenous communities in decision making, through a process that is consistent with their traditional decision-making approach and is based on good faith negotiation.
The statement includes a commitment to work to obtain the consent of indigenous peoples for new projects (and changes to existing projects) that are on lands traditionally owned, or customarily used, by indigenous peoples. Through free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), the ICMM position statement seeks to ensure that indigenous peoples are:
- Able to freely make decisions without coercion, intimidation or manipulation;
- Given sufficient time to be involved in project decision making before key decisions are made and impacts occur; and
- Fully informed about the project and its potential impacts and benefits.
The outcome is that indigenous peoples can give or withhold their consent to a project, through a process that is consistent with their traditional approach to decision making. This process will:
- Respect internationally recognized human rights principles;
- Align to the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; and
- Be based on good faith negotiation, as outlined by the International Finance Corporation.
While the position statement will not be applied retroactively to decisions that have already been taken, all member companies, including Newmont, are expected to align their policy frameworks with the position statement by May 2015.
We understand that FPIC’s success requires open lines of dialogue with indigenous communities, governments and regulatory authorities. Newmont, along with other ICMM member companies, is committed to continuous improvement and further engagement with indigenous peoples and organizations to build mutually beneficial relationships and promote sustainable development.
For more information about our commitment to protecting the rights and interests of indigenous peoples, please visit our annual global sustainability report, Beyond the Mine.