In this blog, the second in our Energy and Climate Change series, we are sharing details on a key pillar of our global energy and climate strategy – adapting Newmont’s operations and providing assistance to local communities to address the physical impacts from climate change.
This year alone, two of our sites –Tanami in Australia and Yanacocha in Peru – experienced impacts due to record rainfalls, highlighting the need for our business to have long-term climate resilience and adaptation plans.
At the beginning of the year, record rainfall in the Tanami desert flooded all supply routes to our Tanami operation, preventing the delivery of fuel and other critical supplies and leading to a one-month shutdown of the operation.
At Yanacocha, heavy rains in March did not cause any major operational disruptions, but a state of emergency was declared in several parts of the country, and our team coordinated with government and industry on relief efforts. Yanacocha also redeployed mining equipment and personnel to help in the effort to rehabilitate roads, bridges, water systems and other infrastructure destroyed by the floods.
In the development of our adaptation program, we commissioned CH2M – a global engineering company recognized for its expertise in tackling complex infrastructure and natural resource challenges – to analyze the long-term climate change impacts on power supplies in Ghana, where Newmont operates two mines. The study found that, based on projected future climate conditions in the region, it is likely that water shortages for hydro generation will become more severe, underscoring the importance of recently added onsite power generation.
In addition to helping Newmont identify risks and adaptation options, the analysis was offered to the Ghanaian government to assist with its climate planning.
In 2016, the Climate Change Business Journal recognized CH2M and Newmont for Advancing Best Practices in Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.
Using the findings from the CH2M study, as well as guidelines from the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Newmont’s cross-functional Global Energy and Climate Team (GECT) developed guidance and tools for evaluating climate risks across the company.
Because our operations have different climate risks, each region will conduct a climate adaptation workshop to understand how physical risks relating to climate change may impact operations, key infrastructure and host communities and to develop robust adaptation plans to address those risks. For example, to improve energy security at our Tanami operation, we are reviewing options such as constructing an all-weather road and converting from diesel to natural gas through a new natural gas pipeline.
In our next blog in this series on climate change, you will learn about another key pillar of our global energy and climate strategy – how Newmont manages and mitigates our carbon emissions through programs such as our carbon offset projects in Peru and Australia.
For more details on our approach to energy and climate change, visit Beyond theMine, our sustainability report.