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Environment

Nevada Gold Mines

Environment

Regardless of the strength and rigor of the environmental management practices in place, the reality is that mining does have an impact on the natural environment.

At Nevada Gold Mines, we recognize the importance of managing and minimizing these impacts. With a strong track record regarding environmental remediation and reclamation, we are a committed custodian of the unique lands, waters, flora and fauna of our state.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In support of Nevada’s carbon-reduction objectives, we are converting our TS Power Plant to a dual fuel process, allowing the facility to generate power from natural gas. This conversion will enable the facility to eliminate about 650,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

We are also reviewing the potential for building a 200 MW solar facility with battery storage. The intention is to phase construction, initially installing 100 MW that could produce power as early as 2022. A study is currently underway, and once the project is approved, Nevada Gold Mines will work with the State of Nevada and the Office of Energy on permitting.

TS Power Plant
Water

Water

Nevada is a dry area with limited surface water, and many residents rely on water pumped from deep aquifers. NGM sites aim to optimize freshwater consumption so that sufficient volumes are delivered for the effective operation of our mines, while at the same time protecting the quality and quantity of water available to other users within our watersheds. Approximately 78% of freshwater used at our operations is recycled and recirculated within the processing facilities, minimizing the total amount of freshwater consumed.

Conservation

Sage-grouse

Nevada Gold Mines is an active participant in both Nevada’s Conservation Credit System and Barrick’s Bank Enabling Agreement, which address residual impacts to Greater Sage-grouse and other sage obligate species. These programs are mitigation banking systems where Nevada Gold Mines preserves or rehabilitates habitat in off-site locations to offset disturbance at our project sites. For the Bank Enabling Agreement, we rely on our science advisor, The Nature Conservancy, to ensure that all actions taken use the best available science for the species we are working to conserve.

Conservation

Relict Dace

Nevada Gold Mines has led an interdisciplinary and interagency team to develop a plan to conserve the Relict Dace, a species of fish found in the Johnson Springs Wetland Complex close to our Long Canyon operation. Through this Technical Working Group, we are committed to maintaining the Relict Dace’s habitat while allowing for active mining and dewatering adjacent to Johnson Springs Wetland Complex.

General Conservation

Nevada Gold Mines Ranches have worked closely with the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the US Fish and Wildlife Service for a number of years to develop and implement projects that have enhanced habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species, notably: native Lahontan cutthroat trout and Greater Sage-grouse. In addition, we have worked in partnership on projects to benefit other wildlife species, which also benefit species listed under the Endangered Species Act and other at-risk species. For example, we are currently working to reduce non-native annual grasses (fine fuel loads), restore native perennial vegetation, and modify grazing management in ways that will help to reduce fire frequency and intensity.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity Action Plans

Nevada Gold Mines is developing Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs) for all our operating sites in Nevada. Commitments and requirements made within National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for each site are captured in the individual BAPs and tracked through that document over time to ensure that operating sites are accurately accounting for our biodiversity commitments.

Ranches

Nevada Gold Mines owns several ranches within the area we operate and recognizes their importance to the rural economy and way of life. Seven of these ranches are leased to other operators. The lessees for these properties were chosen through an open selection process that prioritized finding local ranchers who demonstrated their commitment to conservation. We also manage three ranches internally, striving to run sustainable cow/calf rangeland operations, while making improvements to the habitat over the long term.

Ranches
Recycling

Recycling and Waste Management

In 2020, we have recycled more than 17,000 metric tons of waste – that’s 3.75 million pounds – generated by mining operations. More than 75% of the recycled material was scrap metal, including steel, iron, tin, copper, brass and other metals. We also recycled about 10 tons of electronic waste, 40 tons of cardboard and almost 200 tons of used conveyor belting.

Tailings Facilities

Nevada Gold Mines tailings facilities are constructed to the highest industry standards and in compliance with Nevada regulations. They are permitted and regulated through the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and the Nevada Division of Water Resources.

Both Barrick and Newmont — the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture partners — have Tailings Management Standards that establish best practices and require inspections and reviews above and beyond even what regulations require. Future facilities are intended to be constructed in line with the Barrick Tailings Management Standard and the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management.

All active facilities have undergone independent, third-party geotechnical reviews since the formation of the Nevada Gold Mines joint venture.

Tailings
Closure

Closure

All Nevada Gold Mines sites have five-year concurrent reclamation and closure plans. The plans are developed with progressive closure in mind, helping sites anticipate and conduct reclamation while they are operating — rather than waiting until then end of the mine life.

In 2020, approximately 2.68 square miles — or 1,717 acres — of land were managed with reclamation in mind, with either resloping, covering, reseeding or monitoring activities being conducted.