A Post Whipping
Newmont Mining Corp. accused of environmental misdeeds across the globe
The Denver Post has put together an extensive two-part investigative series on Denver-based precious-metal giant Newmont Mining Corp., detailing questionable environmental practices at a number of the corporation’s mining operations worldwide. Among the findings: Newmont violated water-quality standards in Nevada, operated illegally without required environmental permits in Turkey, used faulty equipment that released toxic mercury fumes into the air in Indonesia, and poured contaminant-laden sediment into streams in Peru. Recently, villagers and local governments have begun fighting back. In September, thousands of Peruvian citizens blocked access to Newmont’s richest gold mine, forcing the company to helicopter employees in to the site and eventually abandon expansion plans. The company may also face criminal charges in Indonesia for allegedly polluting Buyat Bay and sickening local citizens. “Newmont is just powerful, and so they’re more willing to say, ‘We don’t have to do this if we don’t want to,'” said Sandra Ainsworth, a former Newmont employee who says she was fired for reporting environmental problems to managers.