MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Newmont should not leave a nightmare

Published by MAC on 2004-05-04

Newmont should not leave a nightmare

Miningindo News, May 04, 2004

Next year PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (NMR), a gold miner in Minahasa of North Sulawesi, will close its mining operation. In that regard the company is called on to accommodate the aspirations of local people, who live around the mine, prior to the closure of the company's mine site.

Deputy to head of mining division of North Sulawesi Victor Malonda as quoted from Bisnis Indonesia daily said, he believed that with its international reputation Newmont would never leave a nightmare to local people around the mine.

"The company's management has submitted a proposal on mine closure to Indonesian ministry of energy and mineral resources and the ministry has approved it. But the company remains obliged to monitor the environmental condition in the ex-mine site following the closure of the mine, particularly in the area of tailings," he said.

The company's management has actually consulted with all stakeholders from local up to national levels concerning the plan on mine closure. The company has held meetings with various stakeholders from one level to another since March 2001 and significant inputs have been garnered and included in the plan on mine closure.

NMR is in the process of conducting mine closure activity due to depletion of the mineable economic gold deposit within its contract area. The physical closure is expected to be completed in 2004, while the post-closure activities, which include managing and monitoring environmental impact, are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006.

The mine closure program's goal is to mitigate, where possible, impacts on the environment and maximize long-term viability of the local economy. The process of planning for the mine's closure has been underway since the mine was started. There is a great deal of work that still must be done in order to achieve an effective and responsible mine closure. A concerted effort from various stakeholders is needed in order to achieve a successful closure. The company's main task is to gradually implement the various closure programs and to conduct those programs in consultation with the Government of Indonesia.

Mine Closure Process includes consulting stakeholders, planning, implementing and monitoring.

Mine Closure Activity will affect closure of mine areas, fixed asset disposal, environmental compliance and achievement of established closure success criteria, the local community (transition to sustainable development programs) and employees (gradual redundancy program).

According to the Contract of Work, NMR is required to submit a Mine Closure Plan in fourth quarter of 2002. This company submitted the Proposed Closure Plan to the Government of Indonesia in March 2002, ahead of schedule. After various consultations with related parties, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia approved the proposal on 31 December, 2002 in a formal letter numbered 4274/87.03/DJG/2002. The approved mine closure plan contains closure planning programs for all technical, environmental and social/economic aspects in accordance with the standards and criteria of Indonesia and Newmont Mining Corporation.

Responsibility to Work with Local Communities Stakeholders' consultation is an important process in mine closure to understand the concerns of various stakeholders. Consultative meetings with stakeholder groups at all levels (village/local, regency, provincial, national) have been held since March 2001 and have resulted in valuable input to the mine closure plan. NMR believes that consultation with stakeholders is very important and the process is an ongoing and evolving and will continue until all of the closure programs are completed

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