Newmont was the industry sponsor for the first Mining and Communities Solutions Conference organized by InfoMine, held in Vancouver from June 6-7, 2016.
“Taking a leadership role at such an event confirms Newmont’s commitment to improving lives through sustainable and responsible mining,” said Rhonda Zuraff, External Relations and Communications Director for North America, who was also the event’s Vice-Chair. She added, “We learned a lot about current, global social responsibility practices, which confirmed a number of our approaches to community relations, while also identifying opportunities for improvement.”
Rhonda also spoke as a panelist for an interactive session on how industry can ensure shared value with stakeholders once a mine operation is closed. Workshop results revealed that the industry is thinking quite innovatively about closure, and actively working on how to incorporate closure aspects into project design.
Nick Cotts, Vice President of External Relations, was a keynote speaker, and related Newmont’s experience operationalizing human rights, which includes implementing our Human Rights Standard across the company. Participants from other companies noted that they too are thinking about how to manage human rights impacts, and were appreciative of Nick’s candid insights on the opportunities and challenges identifying and managing potential areas of risk across all functions and regions.
Allison Coppel, Senior Director of Social Responsibility, led a dynamic session titled, “It’s not if you engage, but how,” aimed at building engagement skills of those who interact with stakeholders. A survey during the session revealed that only about 15 percent of the participants thought about preparing beyond the content of stakeholder engagement, meaning the methodologies, theories, and techniques of the interaction itself. Many voiced the importance, however, in doing so to make sure engagement leads to relationships based on mutual respect and trust. She also presented on the successful case study of the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation, based on an article co-written by Ahafo Social Responsibility Manager, Joseph Danso, Regional Social Responsibility Manager for Africa, Emmanuel Aubynn, a former intern, Zira John, and a Colorado School of Mines professor, Benjamin Teschner.
Sharing best practices at conferences such as #MiningCommunities2016 is important for Newmont, as we seek to improve our performance through the sharing of ideas and approaches.