This is the first in a four-part series on biodiversity management at Newmont.
Newmont’s biodiversity policy promotes a consistent approach to conservation and sustainable stewardship of resources. At every step of project development, we engage stakeholders and experts to help us better understand the environments where we operate. As Briana Gunn, Newmont’s Environmental Director, puts it, “The more we understand the specifics of biodiversity in an operating region, the better we define our outcomes.”
For new projects and expansions we aim for no net loss of key biodiversity values (KBVs). To do that, we work to identify species and ecosystems with local, regional, national or global ecological or cultural significance, including critical and natural habitat as defined by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and included in Newmont’s standard. We then incorporate these assessments from the beginning of the project development at exploration. Briana says that this process helps us “develop effective plans for managing potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of our activities over the long term.”
Third-party organizations support our assessments and help us define KBVs for each operating area. Initial analysis includes biological features at the species, habitat, ecosystem and landscape levels. We then set objectives for management based on our findings and develop biodiversity action plans (BAPs) to guide us going forward.
Across our portfolio, biodiversity management takes a case-by-case approach – what Briana calls “metric and science driven.” Such is the case at Long Canyon in Nevada.
In 2017, we formed a technical working group with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Nevada Department of Wildlife to evaluate the unique genetic structure of the relict dace and develop mitigation techniques for sustainable habitat management. In addition to stabilizing the fish population, ongoing implementation of this collaborative conservation initiative has set a precedent for positive ecosystem outcomes throughout the region – and is helping us identify similar biodiversity conservation opportunities across our portfolio.