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Newmont Mining Corporation
Type Public (NYSENEM)
Founded 1916
Headquarters Denver, Colorado, USA
Key people Richard T. O'Brien, CEO
Industry Gold
Revenue $5.526 billion USD (2007)
Operating income $391 million USD (2007)
Net income $1.886 billion USD (2007)
Employees 15,000 (2007)
Website http://www.newmont.com

Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSENEM), based in Denver, Colorado, USA, is one of the world's largest producers of gold, with active mines in, Nevada, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, and Peru. Some smaller operations include Bolivia, Mexico, and Canada. Holdings include Battle Mountain Gold, Normandy Mining, and Franco-Nevada Corp. Newmont also has many joint venture relationships. As of December 31, 2006, Newmont produced approximately 5.9 million equity ounces of gold annually and held reserves of about 94 million of those equity ounces. Production in the Americas accounts for about 70% of the company's equity ounces, but even so, Newmont is the largest gold mining company in Australia. Newmont employs approximately 15,000 people worldwide. Other metals that the company mines include copper and silver.

Today, Newmont remains the only gold company in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

Contents

History

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Early years

Newmont Mining Corporation was founded in 1921 in New York by Colonel William Boyce Thompson as a holding company to invest in worldwide mineral, oil, and relations companies. The name Newmont was chosen by Thompson as a contraction of New York, and Montana, because, as one biographer put it, "he grew up in the latter and made his money in the former."

In 1929, Newmont became a mining company with its first gold product in by acquiring California's Empire Star Mine. By 1939, Newmont was operating 12 gold mines in North America.

The company acquired interests overseas. For decades around the middle of the twentieth century Newmont had a controlling interest in the Tsumeb mine in Namibia and in the O'Okiep Copper Company in Namaqualand, South Africa.

Beginning in 1925, Newmont acquired interests in a Texas oil field. Eventually, Newmont's oil interests included more than 70 blocks in the Louisiana Gulf area and oil and gas production in the North Sea.

Newmont discovered dispersed gold at Carlin, Nevada in 1962 and began operating its first mill there in 1965 under the name Carlin Gold Mining Company. The "Carlin Trend" is the largest gold discovery in North America during the 20th century. In 1971, Newmont began using the heap leaching technology on sub-mill grade ores at Carlin. It was one of the first in the gold industry to use heap leaching. In 1986, the company's name was changed to Newmont Gold Company, and five million shares were sold publicly for US$47.5 million. Newmont Mining held a 90 percent interest.

A decade later, Newmont's assets were over US$1.9 billion and income from continuing operations reached US$338 million. In August 1987, Newmont became the target of a failed, unsolicited tender offer for control and dismemberment of the company.

Major growth

After 1987, the company undertook major restructuring. This included the payment of a US$33 per share dividend to all shareholders for a total of US$2.2 billion, of which US$1.75 billion was borrowed. To reduce this debt the company undertook a divestment program involving all of its copper, oil, gas, and coal interests.

As a further step in the restructuring, the company moved its headquarters from New York City to Denver in February 1989. On January 1, 1994, Newmont Mining Corporation, and Newmont Gold Company combined assets to form a unified worldwide gold company. Shareholders of both companies had identical interests in the reserves, production, and earnings of Newmont Gold's operations.

Newmont merged with Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation (a former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway subsidiary, sold in preparation for the merger that produced the BNSF Railway[1]) to form North America's largest gold producer. And, in October 1998, Newmont Mining and Newmont Gold merged, with Newmont Mining acquiring the remaining shares of Newmont Gold that were outstanding at that time. On June 21, 2000, Newmont announced a merger with Battle Mountain Gold Company. The merger was completed in January 2001.

In February 2002, Newmont completed the acquisition of Normandy Mining Limited and Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation Limited. Newmont faced competition in its bit for Normandy from AngloGold. By eventually outbiding the South African company, Newmont became the world's largest gold producer, with an annual production in excess of 8 million ounces.[2]

Operations

Nevada

Newmont has been mining gold in Nevada since 1965. Nevada operations include Carlin, located west of the city of Elko on the geologic feature known as the Carlin Trend, the Twin Creeks mine, located approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of Golconda, the Lone Tree Complex near the town of Valmy, and the Midas mine near the town of the same name. Newmont also participates in the Turquoise Ridge joint venture with Barrick Gold, which utilizes mill capacity at Twin Creeks. The Phoenix gold/copper project, located 10 miles (16 km) south of Battle Mountain, commenced commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2006. The Leeville underground mine, located on the Carlin Trend northwest of the Carlin East underground mine, also commenced commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Yanacocha, Peru

The properties of Minera Yanacocha S.R.L. (“Yanacocha”) are located approximately 375 miles (604 kilometers) north of Lima and 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Cajamarca, in Peru. Yanacocha began production in 1993. Newmont holds a 51.35% interest in Yanacocha with the remaining interest held by Compañia de Minas Buenaventura, S.A.A. (43.65%) and the International Finance Corporation (5%). Yanacocha’s mining rights consist of concessions granted by the Peruvian government to Yanacocha and a related entity. Yanacocha currently has two active open pit mines, Cerro Yanacocha and La Quinua. In addition, reclamation and/or backfilling activities at Carachugo, San Jose and Maqui Maqui are currently underway. Yanacocha has four leach pads and three processing facilities. Yanacocha’s gold sales for 2006 totaled 2.6 million ounces (1.3 million equity ounces).

Australia/New Zealand

Pajingo. Pajingo (100% owned) is an underground mine located approximately 93 miles (150 kilometers) southwest of Townsville, Queensland and 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of the local township of Charters Towers. In 2006, Pajingo sold 174,600 ounces of gold. The mine was sold off in late 2007.

Jundee. The Jundee operations (100% owned) is situated approximately 435 miles (700 kilometers) northeast of Perth, Western Australia. Jundee sold 305,400 ounces of gold in 2006. It became part of Newmont with the acquisition of Normandy Mining in 2002.[3] [4]

Tanami. The Tanami operations (100% owned) include The Granites treatment plant and associated mining operations, which are located in the Northern Territory approximately 342 miles (550 kilometers) northwest of Alice Springs, adjacent to the Tanami highway, and the Dead bullock Soak mining operations, approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of The Granites. The Tanami operations have been wholly-owned since April 2003, when Newmont acquired the minority interests.

Kalgoorlie. The Kalgoorlie operations comprise the Fimiston open pit (commonly referred to as the Super Pit) and Mt. Charlotte underground mine at Kalgoorlie-Boulder, 373 miles (600 kilometers) east of Perth. The mines are managed by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd for the joint venture owners, Newmont and Barrick, each of which holds a 50% interest. The Super Pit is Australia’s largest gold mine in terms of gold production and annual mining volume. During 2006, the Kalgoorlie operations sold 332,200 equity ounces of gold.

Martha. The Martha operations (100% owned) are located within the town of Waihi, located approximately 68 miles (110 kilometers) southeast of Auckland, New Zealand. During 2006, production commenced at the Favona underground deposit. Production at the Martha open pit will cease in 2007. The operation sold 120,300 ounces of gold during 2006. The Martha mine does not currently pay royalties. Under new royalty arrangements, however, Newmont will pay 1% of gross revenues from gold and silver sales, or 5% of accounting profit, whichever is greater, at Favona.

Boddington. Boddington is a development project located 81 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of Perth in Western Australia. As of December 31, 2006 Boddington was owned by Newmont (66.67%) and AngloGold Ashanti Limited (33.33%). In March 2006, Newmont acquired Newcrest Mining Limited’s 22.22% interest in Boddington for $173.

Batu Hijau, Indonesia

Newmont operates the Batu Hijau mine on the island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian province of West Nusa Tenggara through its subsidiary company P.T. Newmont Nusa Tenggara which is a joint venture between Newmont, Sumitomo Corporation and P.T. Pukuafu Indah. In 2008 the Indonesian government threatened to terminate the contract of P.T. Newmont Nusa Tenggara after accusing it of failing to meet its divestment obligations. On April 1, 2009 international arbitrators and its partner sided with Newmont rejecting Jakarta's request to have their contract revoked, which would have forced the company to walk away from the property without any compensation, instead Newmont is forced to sell a 17% stake in an Indonesian subsidiary within 180 days.[5]

Ghana

The Ahafo operation (100% owned) is located in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana, approximately 180 miles (290 kilometers) northwest of Accra. Ahafo poured its first gold on July 18, 2006 and commenced commercial production in August 2006. Ahafo sold 202,000 ounces of gold in 2006.

Newmont currently operates two open pits at Ahafo with total reserves contained in 15 pits. The process plant consists of a conventional mill and carbon-in-leach circuit. Ahafo reserves as of December 31, 2006, were 12.6 million equity ounces.

Newmont has one development project in Ghana, currently the subject of further optimization studies. The Akyem project is approximately 80 miles (125 kilometers) northwest of Accra. As of December 31, 2005, Newmont held an 85% interest in the Akyem project. The remaining 15% was held by Kenbert Mines Limited. In January 2006, Newmont acquired the remaining 15% interest, bringing its ownership to 100% of the Akyem project. In the second half of 2006, the Company deferred further development of Akyem, pending completion of permitting, resolution of country-wide power shortages and further engineering and optimization.

Other operations

Canada

During 2006, Newmont’s Canadian operations included two underground mines. Golden Giant (100% owned) is located approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Marathon, Ontario, Canada, and has been in production since 1985. Mining operations at Golden Giant were completed in December 2005 with remnant mining and milling production continuing throughout most of 2006. In 2006, Golden Giant sold 59,300 ounces of gold. Holloway is located approximately 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Matheson, Ontario, and about 400 miles (644 kilometers) northeast of Golden Giant, and has been in production since 1996. In 2006, Holloway sold 26,000 ounces of gold. On November 6, 2006, Newmont completed the sale of the Holloway mine to St. Andrews Goldfields Ltd. resulting in a $13 pre-tax gain.

Mexico

Newmont has a 44% interest in La Herradura, which is located in Mexico’s Sonora desert. La Herradura is operated by Industriales Peñoles (which owns the remaining 56% interest) and comprises an open pit operation with run-of-mine heap leach processing. La Herradura sold 79,200 equity ounces of gold in 2006.

Bolivia

The Kori Kollo open pit mine is on a high plain in northwestern Bolivia near Oruro, on government mining concessions issued to a Bolivian corporation, Empresa Minera Inti Raymi S.A. (“Inti Raymi”), in which Newmont has an 88% interest. The remaining 12% is owned by Mrs. Beatriz Rocabado. Inti Raymi owns and operates the mine. The mill was closed in October 2003 and production continued from residual leaching. In 2005, additional material from the stockpiles and Lla Llagua pit were placed on the existing leach pad and ore from the Kori Chaca pit was processed on a new leach pad. In 2006, the mine sold 113,300 equity ounces of gold.

Minahasa, Indonesia

Newmont owns 80% of Minahasa and the remaining 20% interest is a carried interest held by P.T. Tanjung Serapung, an unrelated Indonesian company. Minahasa is located on the island of Sulawesi, approximately 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) northeast of Jakarta. Mining was completed in late 2001 and gold production was completed in 2004.

Former operations

Newmont has purchased and sold a number of operations in the past:

  • Golden Grove Mine: Owned by Normandy Mining Ltd since 1991, it was acquired by Newmont Australia Ltd in February 2002 when Newmont took over Normandy It was one of a number of mines which changed into Newmont's ownership through this transaction.[6] Newmont sold on the mine to Oxiana Limited in June 2005 for A$ 265 million.[7]
  • Bronzewing Gold Mine: Part of the Normandy acquisition, View Resources purchased the mine in July 2004 from Newmont for A$9.0 million, a package that also included the McClure mining operation, 8 km west of Bronzewing.[8]
  • Wiluna Gold Mine: Also part of the Normandy acquisition, Gowit Limited, later Agincourt Resources, purchased the mine on 10 December 2003 from Newmont for shares and $3.65 million in cash.[9] [10]

Controversies

Yanacocha mine

The Yanacocha gold mine in northern Peru is considered one of the largest and most profitable in the world, producing over US$7 billion worth of gold to date. Before 1994 the mine was co-owned by Newmont, Buenaventura (a Peruvian mining company), and Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), a French government-owned company. This partnership collapsed in 1994 after BRGM tried to sell part of its shares in the company to an Australian company which was a rival of Newmont. Newmont and Buenaventura would both go to court to challenge the trade.

Larry Kurlander, then a senior executive at Newmont, claimed the French President Jacques Chirac had sent a letter to then Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori asking him to intervene in the court case in favor of the French owned company. Kurlander had been sent by Newmont to Peru in order to try and get a favorable outcome for Newmont in the dispute. The legal battle would eventually make it all the way up to the Peruvian Supreme Court.

During this period Kurlander acknowledges having met with Vladimiro Montesinos, the Peruvian intelligence chief who has since been found guilty of embezzlement, illegally assuming his post as intelligence chief, abuse of power, influence peddling and bribing TV stations. [1] [2] However, Kurlander claims that he did nothing illegal and that the French government were taking similar steps in trying to contact Montesinos. The French ambassador to Peru Antoine Blanca denies this, pointing to the fact that Montesinos was on the CIA payroll and thus would naturally side with the U.S-based company.

After the fall of Fujimori in 2000 a number of videos Montesinos had taped of himself meeting with several domestic and foreign leaders and offering bribes and accepting them had emerged. In October 2005 Frontline in co-production with The New York Times found a February 1998 recording of a telephone conversation between Montesinos and Kurlander. The following is an excerpt from the tape:

Kurlander:...we have a very serious problem in Peru with our company (Newmont) and Minera Buenaventura so I have enlisted the support of some of my friends from a variety of intelligence communities. I need it especially because the other side (the French government) has been acting quite strangely.
Montesinos (to interpreter): Tell him that I am perfectly aware of the problem he has and the people he represents have with the French, as well as the problem he has with the judiciary.
Kurlander: So now you have a friend for life. I want a friend for life.
Montesinos (to interpreter): I thank you very much for what you have just told me and well you already have a friend. Tell him I'm going to help him with the voting. I would like to know the tricky practices of the French. The French Connection!
Kurlander: The French Connection!
(laughter) [3]

Along with this telephone conversation, Frontline and The New York Times also re-broadcast three other videos. One was filmed in April 1998 and shows Montesinos talking to "Don Arabian", the CIA station chief in Peru, in an attempt to get CIA to pressure the U.S. to back Newmont in the case. In the video Montesinos claims to have found e-mails from Paris to Peru of French officials trying to influence the court to get a decision favorable to France.

Another video recorded in May 1998 shows Montesinos meeting with Peruvian Supreme Court Justice, and former classmate, Jaime Beltran Quiroga. In it Montesinos states that state interests are at stake in the case between Newmont and BRGM. He tells Quiroga that if the decision goes to Newmont that the United States will back Peru in its boarder dispute with Ecuador which had a few years ago exploded into the Cenepa War. He also tells Quiroga to deny any connection with him to the press. Quiroga would later play a crucial role in the case, his vote would be the deciding vote in the Newmont victory. After the video was first broadcast in Peru in 2001, on a Peruvian local television station the French Ambassador Antoine Blanca was quoted as saying "Now I know why Newmont won".

In the final July 1999 video, Montesinos is again seen with the now departing CIA station chief "Don Arabian" giving him a gift and thanking him for the help he has given Peru stating "[W]e hope that when you're back their [in Washington] you'll remember your friends".

Buyat Bay, Indonesia

In August 2004, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment filed a US$133.6 million civil lawsuit against Newmont, claiming tailings from the company's Minahasa Raya mine polluted Buyat Bay in the North Sulawesi province, contaminating local fish stocks and causing nearby villagers to become seriously ill. Newmont denied the allegations, arguing that the illnesses had more to do with poor hygiene and poverty. On November 15, 2005, a South Jakarta court dismissed the suit on technical grounds, saying the government had breached the terms of its contract with Newmont when it took legal action before seeking arbitration. Environmentalists urged for the suit to be appealed, but on December 1, 2005, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said the government expected to reach an out-of-court settlement with Newmont's local subsidiary. "By negotiating a settlement, we hope to be able to quickly compensate people living near the mine," he said. The government negotiating team was led by chief Economics Minister Aburizal Bakrie. On February 16, 2006, the Indonesian government announced it would settle the civil suit for US$30 million to be paid over the next 10 years. The agreement also includes increased scientific monitoring and enhanced community development programs for the North Sulawesi province.

With the civil lawsuit settled, attention focused on the criminal charges against President Director Richard Ness. In December 2006, Newmont Mining Corp. objected to a documentary entitled Bye Bye Buyat being nominated for Indonesia's top film award, FFI's Citra Award. The company said that it interfered with Ness' ongoing trial.[11]

After a 21-month trial—one of the longest proceedings in Indonesian history—Ness was found innocent of the pollution charges on April 24, 2007.[12] The court found that the company was in compliance with all regulations and permits during its operations at the site, and failed to find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Nemont's subsidiary had polluted Buyat Bay. At the end of May, the prosecution appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.[12]

A week after being found not guilty of criminal charges, Richard Ness sued The New York Times in Indonesian court for libel. The lawsuit asks for nearly US$65 million in damages, and that The New York Times print a page-one retraction of previously published articles.[13]

References

  1. ^ Railroad News, Trains, September 1994, pp. 14-16
  2. ^ AngloGold battles for pole position in global gold mining The Independent, published: 28 November 2001, accessed: 14 February 2010
  3. ^ "View Acquires Bronzewing" (PDF). View Resources Limited website. 15 June 2004. Archived from the original on 2009-12-16. http://www.webcitation.org/5m3tUbSdp. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  4. ^ View Project Owners: Jundee - Nimary accessed: 19 December 2009
  5. ^ McDowell, Robin (April 1, 2009). "Newmont Told to Sell Shares in Indonesian Unit". Associated Press Via ABC. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=7229984. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  6. ^ NORMANDY MINING LIMITED (NDY) delisted.com.au, accessed: 11 January 2010
  7. ^ To Acquire Golden Grove Mine from Newmont Oxiana ASX announcement, published: 24 June 2005, accessed: 11 January 2010
  8. ^ "Bronzewing". View Resources Limited website. 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-12-16. http://www.webcitation.org/5m3w57YSW. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  9. ^ Delisted.com.au: Agincourt Resources accessed: 26 December 2009
  10. ^ AUSTRALIA'S GOWIT TO ACQUIRE WILUNA GOLD MINE highbeam.com, published: 21 October 2003, accessed: 26 September 2009
  11. ^ "Mining firm objects to pollution film up for Indonesian award". Agence France-Presse. December 20, 2006. http://sg.news.yahoo.com/061220/1/45khc.html. 
  12. ^ a b "Newmont responds to prosecutor in Indonesia case". Reuters. June 28, 2007. http://in.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2007-06-28T125847Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNC_0_India-282158-1.xml&archived=False. 
  13. ^ Steve Fisor, An exonerated Ness files lawsuit against the New York Times, Engineering and Mining Journal, June 2007, p.2.

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