Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) (“Newmont” or the “Company”) announced today that, in agreement with the government of Peru, it has suspended construction activities at the Conga project (or the “Project”) in Peru for the safety of employees and community members. During the past month, the Conga project and the near-by Yanacocha operations have experienced intermittent work stoppages as a result of ongoing protests in the region. Beginning in October 2011, anti-mining activists expressed concerns about perceived impacts of the Project on the local water supply. The Conga Environmental Impact Assessment was approved in 2010 after extensive review by the Peruvian government which included significant engagement and consultation with local communities.
Richard O’Brien, Newmont’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Newmont has nearly two decades of successful partnerships with the governments and communities at our Peruvian operations. We remain dedicated to the safety and security of our employees and host communities. We will continue to engage in peaceful dialogue with local community leaders and government representatives. We believe that the multi-year approval process followed by Yanacocha and the Peruvian government for the Conga project thoroughly considered impacts to the environment, including water resources in the region.”
Mr. O’Brien added, “Should we be unable to continue with our current development plan at Conga, the scale and diversity of Newmont’s global portfolio provides us with flexibility to reprioritize and reallocate capital to maintain focus on our strategic objectives through development alternatives in Nevada, Canada, Ghana, Indonesia and Suriname.”