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SDG6: Ensuring Reliable and Healthy Watersheds

This is four of five in a series on Newmont’s contribution to the SDGs.

Newmont is committed to a positive legacy for future generations. In support of this, we are initiating work to integrate relevant United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into our business. Our focus this year is to set meaningful targets that align with and have the greatest impacts on our priority goals, including our ongoing commitment to sharing knowledge, building capacity and contributing to meaningful partnerships that enhance positive sustainable development outcomes and create long-term value.

As the UN reports, “Without quality, sustainable water resources and sanitation, progress in many other areas across the SDGs, including health, education and poverty reduction, will also be held back.” We value water as a precious resource and make contributions to SDG6 – ensuring access to water and sanitation for all.

Our operations require water for processing, health and sanitation, and our sites withdraw groundwater to mine ore. Because these activities can impact local water sources and quality, we are firmly committed to maintaining the overall health of freshwater ecosystems and to fully understanding the watersheds where we operate and the challenges for communities, our operations and other water users.

In support of site-based water stewardship, we’ve developed Water Accounting Frameworks (WAF) to measure and report water use by inputs, outputs, diversions and water quality at each operating site. Regularly monitoring, assessing and reporting against these frameworks helps each region continually improve efforts to conserve and recycle water, reduce fresh water use and improve fresh water biodiversity specific to watershed and community needs.

Outcomes of a partnership with Trout Unlimited and others to rehabilitate Lahontan cutthroat habitat in Nevada’s Maggie Creek Watershed demonstrates our focus on supporting local watershed health where we operate. To date, this cooperative effort resulted in 82 miles of stream recovery, around 2,000 acres of riparian habitat improvement and 40,000 acres of upland-habitat enhancement.

Investments in potable community water infrastructure are another example of our contributions to SDG6. In Peru, we invested more than $13 million over five years – in partnership with the local municipal water authority – to improve drinking water quality and reliability for the city of Cajamarca. Results of Yanacocha’s investments show that 23,800 people have potable water for the first time thanks to the installation of 5,402 new connections.

Ensuring access to clean and potable water supports our purpose to improve lives and create long-term value. As part of our work in 2018, we will engage all regions and key functional areas – particularly our global water team – to develop new outcome indicators and measure the impact of our community investments and programs that support improved water and sanitation infrastructure.

For more details about our commitment to sustainable and responsible mining, visit our sustainability report, Beyond the Mine. Stay tuned next week for more on Newmont’s contributions to the SDGs.