By Peter Kennedy
Newmont Corp. [NGT-TSX, NEM-NYSE], the world’s largest gold miner, has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The move comes as investors and policymakers call for climate change initiatives and clean energy. There has been increasing pressure from investors and environment groups for the mining industry to tackle issues such as climate change and pollution.
Newmont, which also aims for a 30% cut in greenhouse emissions by 2030, said it would implement a new energy and climate investment standard to ensure that the targets are embedded into investment decisions related to fleet vehicles, production equipment and onsite renewable power generation.
The announcement comes after the Canadian government said it is set to introduce climate accountability legislation next week to formally commit Canada to its target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
According to published reports, the long-awaited bill will set out mandatory national five-year targets to cut emissions, starting in 2025. However, while the Liberal government has promised that the five-year targets will be “legally binding,” the legislation isn’t expected to include enforcement mechanisms to ensure those targets are being met.
However, it is worth noting that while Canada has set multiple emissions reduction targets in past decades, none of those targets have been met.
For its part, Newmont said 88% of its energy used for mining and milling is generated from carbon-based fuels.
Holding operations that result from Newmont Mining’s recent US$10 billion takeover of Canadian mining giant Goldcorp, Newmont Goldcorp now ranks as the world’s largest gold producer with assets across the Americas, Africa and Australia.
A key part of Newmont’s accountability in reaching its carbon emission targets will be reporting via The Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TFD) guidelines, the company said in a press release. In 2021, the U.S. gold mining giant will issue its first annual TCFD report, one that will outline Newmont’s governance, strategy and portfolio resilience to a range of climate scenarios.
The TCFD report will also track the company’s annual progress toward implementing its 2030 strategy, meeting its 2030 targets and executing emissions reductions across its global portfolio.
“We take these climate change commitments seriously, and make them because our relationship with the planet is absolute,” said Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer. “We want a world that is not just sustainable, but thriving for generations to come,” he said.
On Friday, Newmont shares rose 0.854% or $0.73 to $86.24. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $96.45 and $44.
The company recent said it expects to produce approximately 6.0 million ounces of gold this year. However, it said the target is based on the assumption that operations continue throughout the remainder of the year without major COVID-related interruptions.