Newmont to Begin Safely Ramping Up at Peñasquito
Newmont Corporation announce that it expects to begin safely ramping up operations at Peñasquito in Mexico on May 18 following the government’s designation of mining as an essential activity. The company will continue to utilize protective measures for workers and neighboring communities, including screening, physical distancing, deep cleaning and avoiding exposure for at-risk individuals.
“With the government of Mexico incorporating mining into the list of essential businesses that will be allowed to recommence activities on May 18th, we are preparing Peñasquito and our workforce for a safe, orderly and timely resumption of production,” said Tom Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newmont. “As we’ve been doing at all of our operations and sites around the globe, we will maintain rigorous health and safety controls to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 to our workforce and neighboring communities.”
The start-up of Peñasquito is expected to take roughly two weeks to reach stable production levels. As we begin to ramp up, Newmont will provide an update on the company’s 2020 outlook.
On April 22, Peñasquito reached a definitive agreement with the San Juan de Cedros community (one of 25 neighboring communities) in Zacatecas, Mexico on land use, water availability, infrastructure and social investments. This includes access to 10,000 hectares for exploration and operational purposes, and resolves all outstanding issues with the community. The agreement was reached with the support of Mexico’s Ministry of Interior (SEGOB) and representatives of the State of Zacatecas and was signed by elected representatives of the Cedros community. The agreement is expected to be ratified in a General Assembly once COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings are lifted by the government. The agreement expressly states that any future disputes will be resolved through dialogue and free of blockades.
Operations at Peñasquito were placed on care and maintenance in early April following Coronavirus-related restrictions by the government of Mexico. In the meantime, Newmont has been donating personal protective equipment, COVID-19 detection tests and sanitation kits to local governments and communities to help prevent transmission of the disease.
In April, Newmont announced a $20 million global community support fund to help host communities, governments and employees combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The Newmont Global Community Support Fund builds upon other local contributions and efforts the Company has invested in since the start of the pandemic. In addition, Newmont committed to paying all of its employees through the end of June to provide them certainty even if they are unable to work as a result of Coronavirus-related disruptions.