This blog is the third in our series on sustainable closure and reclamation.
Newmont has a strong commitment to achieving sustainable and beneficial post-mining land use as part of our efforts to deliver long-term value creation. On the ground, our team of environmental specialists oversee the development and monitoring of Newmont’s mine closure and reclamation activities throughout the lifecycle of the mine.
We spoke with members of our Closure and Reclamation Technical Teams (CRTT) about their jobs to learn why it is important – to them and as part of our commitment to sustainable and responsible mining.
Julia Schmidt, Senior Environmental Coordinator at our Phoenix mine in Nevada, leads the CRTT for North America. Her path into the position started in school: “In my first environmental engineering course in college, my professor stated that our profession was credited with saving more lives than the entire healthcare system. This statement stuck with me. Without clean air, water and soil, good hygiene and nutrition are not possible. From that point forward, I’ve pursued protection of human health and the environment without regret.”
Like Julia, Vida-Rose Asakpo is a Senior Environmental Representative, and works at our Ahafo operation in Ghana, overseeing concurrent reclamation planning and execution. Educated in natural resource management, Vida-Rose was motivated to pursue this line of work “to bring a balance to natural resource development and support the ecological and economic benefits of mining activities in my country.” One of her favorite parts of the job is seeing reactions to her work from guests who visit the mine: “External stakeholders are often invited to tour the mine site and they’re always surprised to see the growth of local tree species on reclaimed land that was once a waste facility.”
Also working out of Ghana is Emmanuel Baffour-Asare, an environmental and reclamation specialist at our Akyem operation. Emmanuel, who has two degrees in environmental science, shares Vida-Rose’s motivation and strives to improve the reputation of mining in the country: “I have a strong desire to see positive outcomes for my work and strive to rehabilitate land so that both the local community and our government can continue to benefit from it.”
At our newest operation, the Merian mine in Suriname, reclamation supervisor Gilvin Mahabir finds the aspect of collaboration among the most rewarding parts of the job: “We only hire people from the community to work on the reclamation team, and a large majority of our supplies are purchased from local vendors. Working together with people in the community to support their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the company is so rewarding.”
As part of the communities where they work, our CRTT members are personally invested in the outcomes of closure and reclamation activities. In the next blog in our series on closure and reclamation, Julia and Vida-Rose discuss some of the innovative approaches they are taking to ensure positive land use long after mining ends.
To learn more about our commitment to provide for long-term environmental stability and beneficial post-mining land use, visit our annual sustainability report, Beyond the Mine.