Company provides COVID-19 response updates
Newmont Corporation (NYSE: NEM, TSX: NGT) (Newmont or the Company) has implemented additional controls at its operations and offices around the globe to further protect the health and safety of its workforce, their families and neighboring communities while also taking steps to preserve long-term business value.
"Our business continuity plans and rapid response teams have been fully mobilized in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic," said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are working closely with host communities, First Nations and other indigenous peoples, regional and national governments and health experts to protect our workforce and nearby communities. This includes putting some operations temporarily into care and maintenance while others continue to operate at targeted production levels. We are also making sure that these short-term disruptions do not impact long-term business value while ensuring we are well-positioned to safely and efficiently ramp-up operations in a timely manner once the worst of this global pandemic passes."
Mines representing approximately 80 percent of the Company’s production outlook for 2020 continue operating in line with production targets for the year and have implemented heightened levels of health screening, along with support services being conducted remotely. If at any point the Company determines that continuing operations poses an increased risk to our workforce or host communities, we will reduce operational activities up to and including care and maintenance and management of critical environmental systems.
The Company is withdrawing only its full-year 2020 guidance as some production could be deferred into 2021, potentially impacting costs in 2020 if some operations are on care and maintenance for an extended period. Newmont is well positioned to safely and efficiently ramp-up mining operations in a timely manner once the worst of this global pandemic passes. The Company’s long-term value proposition remains unchanged, despite these shorter term disruptions, as Newmont continues to have the industry’s largest gold Mineral Reserves of 95.7 million ounces1.
For the first quarter of 2020, Newmont now expects to produce approximately 1.4 million attributable gold ounces and approximately 325,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces. Year to date through February 29, 2020, the Company produced approximately 981,000 attributable gold ounces and approximately 227,000 co-product gold equivalent ounces. Newmont continues to work pro-actively with logistics partners and refiners to transport and refine product in a challenging environment. We are not currently experiencing significant delays in the shipping of concentrate or transportation and refining of dore, but they may occur in the coming days and weeks if certain government-required shutdowns and border restrictions occur.
As of December 31, 2019, the Company had $2.2 billion in consolidated cash and more than $5 billion dollars of liquidity, providing significant resources to manage through this global pandemic.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
In order to protect nearby communities and align with travel restrictions or health considerations in Argentina, Canada and Peru, four Newmont operations are being temporarily put into care and maintenance. The operations will be positioned so they can safely and quickly resume normal operations once protective measures have been lifted. Operations being put into care and maintenance include:
Musselwhite: Newmont has decided to limit personnel on site to minimize fly-in/fly-out activity to prevent the possible transmission of the virus into communities, including nearby First Nations communities in northern Ontario – essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management and provide security
Eléonore: Newmont has decided to limit personnel on site to comply with the Quebec government’s restriction on non-essential travel within the province and to prevent the possible transmission of the virus into communities, including nearby First Nations communities – essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management and provide security
Cerro Negro: Newmont will have to limit personnel on site due to the halt of all domestic flights and mass transportation in Argentina through March 31 – remaining on site will be essential personnel to maintain infrastructure, continue environmental management, provide security and continue ground control activities
Yanacocha: As previously disclosed, mining operations were in the process of safely ramping down due to government travel restrictions in-country, while gold production from leach pads and critical safety, security and environmental management activities continue
"We currently have no confirmed COVID-19 cases among our workforce and are taking significant, proactive measures including social distancing at all our sites; removing substantial numbers of non-critical workers from our operations; closing offices with employees working remotely; and stopping all non-essential business travel to ensure we don’t become a pathway for transmission to others," added Mr. Palmer. "These are unprecedented times for all industries and while this pandemic brings a lot of uncertainty, Newmont is well positioned to safely and responsibly generate long-term value for all of our stakeholders."
Measures taken at Newmont operations and offices globally include:
- Cancelling all non-essential travel
- Enhanced temperature and questionnaire screening at entry points to sites
- Establishing flexible and remote working plans for employees
- Establishing screening for fly-in-fly-out employees prior to their departures from their home communities
- Mandatory self-quarantine for anyone who has travelled internationally or has any flu-like symptoms
- Providing logistical and health care support to nearby communities where needed
- Established a global supply chain task force to assess all potential risks and develop viable contingency plans that enable us to stay ahead of any potential supply disruptions
More information on Newmont’s proactive efforts to minimize impacts to its people, nearby communities and business may be found here.
Newmont is the world’s leading gold company and a producer of copper, silver, zinc and lead. The Company’s world-class portfolio of assets, prospects and talent is anchored in favorable mining jurisdictions in North America, South America, Australia and Africa. Newmont is the only gold producer listed in the S&P 500 Index and is widely recognized for its principled environmental, social and governance practices. The Company is an industry leader in value creation, supported by robust safety standards, superior execution and technical proficiency. Newmont was founded in 1921 and has been publicly traded since 1925.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections and other applicable laws. Where a forward-looking statement expresses or implies an expectation or belief as to future events or results, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. However, such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed, projected or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance and financial condition; and often contain words such as "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "will," "may," "could," "would," "estimate," "expect," "believe," or "potential." Forward-looking statements in this news release may include, without limitation statements regarding (i) expectations of first quarter 2020 outlook, (ii) expectations regarding on-going gold production (including from leach pads) and other activities at sites, (iii) expectations regarding shipping of concentration, transportation and refining of product and mitigation efforts, (iv) expectations regarding long-term value creation, and (v) other expectations regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial results and operations of our mine sites and overall business, including with respect to the Company’s guidance. Risks include uncertainties relating to the global economic impact of COVID-19, particularly with respect to the mining industry in the jurisdictions in which we operate, the ability of operate following changing governmental restrictions on travel and business operations (including, without limitation, the duration of restrictions, including access to sites, ability to transport and ship dore, access to processing and refinery facilities, impacts to international trade, impacts to supply chain, including price, availability of goods, ability to receive supplies and fuel, impacts to productivity and operations in connection with decisions intended to protect the health and safety of the workforce, their families and neighboring communities. In light of the changing environment and uncertainties, no guarantees can be provided that Newmont’s proactive efforts to minimize impacts will effective in eliminating risks. For a discussion of risks and other factors that might impact future looking statements, see the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), under the heading "Risk Factors", available on the SEC website or www.newmont.com. The Company does not undertake any obligation to release publicly revisions to any "forward-looking statement," including, without limitation, outlook, to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this news release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. Investors should not assume that any lack of update to a previously issued "forward-looking statement" constitutes a reaffirmation of that statement. Continued reliance on "forward-looking statements" is at investors’ own risk.
1As of December 31, 2019, Newmont reported 100.2 million ounces of gold Mineral Reserves and 95.7 million ounces after adjusting for the KCGM divestment and pending Red Lake divestment.