Prior to the Joint Venture, Newmont Goldcorp has been pouring gold in Nevada for over 50 years along a 100-mile corridor in the northern part of the state. On July 1, 2019, Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Goldcorp Corporation have successfully concluded the transaction establishing Nevada Gold Mines LLC. Nevada Gold Mines is 61.5% owned and operated by Barrick, and 38.5% owned by Newmont Goldcorp. The assets of Nevada Gold Mines comprise 10 underground and 12 open pit mines, two autoclave facilities, two roasting facilities, four oxide mills, a flotation plant and five heap leach facilities.
Identified synergies are expected to deliver up to $500 million per year over the first five years from 2020, stepping down over time after that. These will come mainly from integrated mine planning, optimized mining and processing, cost reductions and the combination of the adjacent Turquoise Ridge and Twin Creeks, which will be operated as a single mine. Learn more here.
Our goal is to create a culture of zero harm and a workplace free of injuries and occupational illnesses. At our North America operations, we have several programs and tools to help us achieve that goal. Through a focus on employee engagement, vital behaviors, leadership coaching, field interactions, and mitigation of safety and health risks, we will continue our journey towards Integration and Zero Harm.
Newmont Safety Journey
The Newmont Safety Journey is both a roadmap and a measurement. It allows us to identify where we currently are and where we want to go to achieve zero harm. There are five stages of the Journey. We are currently in the third stage, Participation, with the next step being Ownership, where safety is owned by every level of the organization. Integration is the final stage of the Safety Journey, where safety “is just the way we do business around here.” We currently have several programs and tools to help us move along our Journey.
Vital Behaviors is a process that puts ownership into the hands of those with the greatest impact and influence; our front-line employees and encourages their involvement in health and safety. In the Vital Behaviors process, our employees submit stories of personal instances where they demonstrated or observed at-risk behaviors, or intervened when identifying an at-risk behavior. Peer representatives, known as Opinion Leaders, analyze each story to determine common themes. The themes are further analyzed to develop three to four key Vital Behaviors that, when followed, will prevent injury and loss. The Opinion Leaders then work through the process to engage their peers, identifying actions that will both motivate and enable their fellow employees to follow the Vital Behaviors. A total of 10 Vital Behaviors teams exist throughout the region, which includes operations, support and contractor members.
To compliment the success of Vital Behaviors and other employee-led safety efforts, Leadership Coaching was introduced in 2014. Leadership Coaching is a process where skilled coaches accompany supervisors in their work areas to provide real-time feedback in the areas of: visible felt leadership, effective communication, hazard identification, risk management, operational accountability and promotion of vital behaviors. Individual feedback sessions are conducted frequently to monitor the supervisors’ progress against agreed targets. When the leadership coaching is completed it then becomes part of the performance management process and supervisors are rewarded based on how effectively they perform these skills.
Employee-led Safety Programs
We have two employee-led safety programs in Nevada called the Employee Safety Program (ESP) and Talking Safety. Both programs are about employee engagement by identifying hazards in the work place and then management providing support to correct those hazards. These safety improvements are well documented so success of the program is very transparent. The goal of these programs is to encourage employees to make safety their first thought for everything they do, because talking about safety ensures we think about safety.
At our mine sites, supervisors and managers focus on conducting frequent Safety Interactions with our employees doing hazardous work. The Safety Interaction is a conversation with an individual on their work activities, the risks associated with that activity and to provide positive feedback or coaching on the “behavior.” The purpose of a Safety Interaction is to positively influence the safety behaviors of our employees over time through leaders having one-on-one conversations on observed work behaviors.
Mine Emergency Response Teams
Each of our Newmont North America mine sites are equipped with an on-site Mine Emergency Response Team (MERT) made up of men and women who are highly skilled professional miners – equipment operators, mechanics, electricians, blasting technician, geologists, engineers, etc. – who bring important work experience to their roles on the team. Members of the MERT teams are trained Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and Emergency Medical Responders (EMR). The MERT teams participate in specialized trainings and mock-drills throughout the year. These teams also test their preparedness, skills and speed against industry peers in mine rescue competitions across the country. Mine rescue contests are designed to sharpen skills and test the knowledge of team members who would be called on to respond to a mine emergency. Each contest requires that MERT members solve a hypothetical problem while being timed and observed by judges, who enforce complex requirements.