10-K 1 nem-20171231x10k.htm 10-K nem_Current folio_10K

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D. C. 20549

 


Form 10-K


(Mark One)

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017

or

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from              to              

Commission File Number: 001-31240

 


C:\Users\10012114\Desktop\Logo.jpeg

NEWMONT MINING CORPORATION

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 


 

Delaware

 

84-1611629

(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

 

6363 South Fiddler’s Green Circle

 

80111

(Zip Code)

Greenwood Village, Colorado

 

 

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (303) 863-7414

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Common Stock, $1.60 par value

 

New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

 


Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐ 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒ 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐ 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).   Yes  ☒    No  ☐

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 ☒

 

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 ☐

(Do not check if a smaller reporting company.)

Smaller reporting company

 

 

 

 

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  ☐    

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐    No  ☒

At June 30, 2017, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $17,235,370,395  based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange. There were 533,474,863 shares of common stock outstanding on February 15, 2018.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of Registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement submitted to the Registrant’s stockholders in connection with our 2018 Annual Stockholders Meeting to be held on April 25, 2018, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.

 

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

    

    

    

Page

 

 

PART I

 

 

2017 RESULTS AND HIGHLIGHTS 

 

ITEM 1. 

 

BUSINESS

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

 

Segment Information

 

 

 

Products

 

 

 

Hedging Activities

 

 

 

Gold, Copper and Silver Reserves

 

 

 

Licenses and Concessions

 

 

 

Condition of Physical Assets and Insurance

 

 

 

Environmental Matters

 

 

 

Health and Safety

 

10 

 

 

Employees and Contractors

 

11 

 

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

11 

 

 

Available Information

 

13 

ITEM 1A. 

 

RISK FACTORS

 

13 

ITEM 2. 

 

PROPERTIES

 

29 

 

 

Production and Development Properties

 

29 

 

 

Operating Statistics

 

38 

 

 

Proven and Probable Reserves

 

40 

 

 

Mineralized Material

 

46 

ITEM 3. 

 

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

 

49 

ITEM 4. 

 

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

 

49 

 

 

PART II

 

 

ITEM 5. 

 

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASE OF EQUITY SECURITIES

 

50 

ITEM 6. 

 

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

 

51 

ITEM 7. 

 

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

 

52 

 

 

Overview

 

52 

 

 

Consolidated Financial Results

 

52 

 

 

Results of Consolidated Operations

 

60 

 

 

Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

67 

 

 

Environmental

 

73 

 

 

Forward Looking Statements

 

74 

 

 

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

 

74 

 

 

Accounting Developments

 

83 

 

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

83 

ITEM 7A. 

 

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

91 

 

 

Metal Prices

 

91 

 

 

Foreign Currency

 

91 

 

 

Hedging

 

92 

 

 

Commodity Price Exposure

 

93 

 

 

Fixed and Variable Rate Debt

 

93 

ITEM 8. 

 

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

 

94 

ITEM 9. 

 

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

 

165 

ITEM 9A. 

 

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

165 

ITEM 9B.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

 

167 

 

 

PART III

 

 

ITEM 10. 

 

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

167 

ITEM 11. 

 

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

168 

ITEM 12. 

 

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

 

169 

ITEM 13. 

 

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

 

169 

ITEM 14. 

 

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES

 

169 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

ITEM 15. 

 

EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

 

170 

SIGNATURES 

 

S-1 

SCHEDULE II - VALUATION AND QUALIFYING ACCOUNTS 

 

SCH-1

 

 

 

 


 

NEWMONT MINING CORPORATION

 

2017 RESULTS AND HIGHLIGHTS

(unaudited, in millions, except per share, per ounce and per pound)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Years Ended December 31, 

 

 

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

Financial Results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

$

7,348

 

$

6,711

 

$

6,085

 

Gold

 

$

7,033

 

$

6,461

 

$

5,805

 

Copper

 

$

315

 

$

250

 

$

280

 

Costs applicable to sales (1)

 

$

4,038

 

$

3,772

 

$

3,578

 

Gold

 

$

3,875

 

$

3,547

 

$

3,347

 

Copper

 

$

163

 

$

225

 

$

231

 

Net income (loss) from continuing operations 

 

$

(49)

 

$

(790)

 

$

(141)

 

Net income (loss) 

 

$

(87)

 

$

(923)

 

$

304

 

Net income (loss) from continuing operations attributable to Newmont stockholders

 

$

(60)

 

$

(220)

 

$

(1)

 

Per common share, diluted:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income (loss) from continuing operations attributable to Newmont stockholders

 

$

(0.11)

 

$

(0.41)

 

$

 —

 

Net income (loss) attributable to Newmont stockholders

 

$

(0.18)

 

$

(1.18)

 

$

0.43

 

Adjusted net income (loss) (2)

 

$

780

 

$

619

 

$

327

 

Adjusted net income (loss) per share, diluted (2)

 

$

1.46

 

$

1.16

 

$

0.63

 

Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization (2)

 

$

2,582

 

$

1,279

 

$

1,694

 

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation and amortization (2)

 

$

2,653

 

$

2,365

 

$

1,896

 

Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities of continuing operations

 

$

2,350

 

$

1,923

 

$

1,588

 

Free Cash Flow (2)

 

$

1,484

 

$

790

 

$

277

 

Cash dividends declared per common share

 

$

0.250

 

$

0.125

 

$

0.100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Results:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated gold ounces (thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Produced

 

 

5,654

 

 

5,243

 

 

5,031

 

Sold

 

 

5,605

 

 

5,199

 

 

5,052

 

Attributable gold ounces (thousands):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Produced

 

 

5,266

 

 

4,898

 

 

4,584

 

Sold

 

 

5,216

 

 

4,865

 

 

4,603

 

Consolidated and attributable copper pounds (millions):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Produced

 

 

113

 

 

119

 

 

125

 

Sold

 

 

111

 

 

116

 

 

129

 

Average realized price:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold (per ounce) 

 

$

1,255

 

$

1,243

 

$

1,149

 

Copper (per pound) 

 

$

2.83

 

$

2.15

 

$

2.17

 

Consolidated costs applicable to sales: (1)(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold (per ounce) 

 

$

691

 

$

682

 

$

663

 

Copper (per pound) 

 

$

1.47

 

$

1.95

 

$

1.80

 

All-in sustaining costs: (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gold (per ounce) 

 

$

924

 

$

912

 

$

933

 

Copper (per pound) 

 

$

1.80

 

$

2.30

 

$

2.15

 


(1)

Excludes Depreciation and amortization and Reclamation and remediation.

(2)

See Non-GAAP Financial Measures beginning on page 74. 

 

1


 

2017 Highlights

 

·

Net income (loss): Delivered Net income (loss) from continuing operations attributable to Newmont stockholders of $(60) or $(0.11) per diluted share, an increase of $160 from the prior year, primarily due to higher gold production and higher average realized gold prices. The prior year was impacted by an impairment charge at Yanacocha and the current year was impacted by the changes in U.S. tax legislation.

 

·

Adjusted net income (loss): Delivered Adjusted net income (loss) of $780 or $1.46 per diluted share, a 26% increase from the prior year (See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” beginning on page 74).

 

·

Adjusted EBITDA: Generated $2.7 billion in Adjusted EBITDA, a 12% increase from the prior year (See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” beginning on page 74). 

 

·

Cash flow: Reported Net cash provided by operating activities of continuing operations of $2.4 billion, up 22% from the prior year, and free cash flow of $1.5 billion, up 88% from the prior year (See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” beginning on page 74).

 

·

Portfolio improvements: During 2017, we declared commercial production at the Tanami Expansion project and approved the Tanami Power project in Australia; achieved a full year of underground operation at Northwest Exodus and mined first ore at the Twin Creeks Underground mine in Nevada; approved and progressed expansion of the Ahafo Mill and produced first gold at Subika Underground in Africa; completed first full year of operations at Merian in Suriname; approved Quecher Main and increased ownership in Yanacocha in Peru; invested in early stage development projects in the Canadian Yukon, Colombia, Guiana Shield and the Andes; and declared gold reserves of 68.5 million ounces, fully replacing depletion at a constant gold price.

 

·

Attributable gold production: Increased gold production 8% from the prior year to 5.3 million ounces, primarily due to a full year’s production from Merian and Long Canyon, partially offset by lower grades at Twin Creeks, Yanacocha and Tanami, further impacted by adverse weather conditions at Yanacocha and Tanami. 

 

·

Financial strength: Ended the year with $3.3 billion cash on hand. In February 2018, we eliminated the gold-price linked dividend calculation and declared a fourth quarter dividend of $0.14.

 

Our global project pipeline

 

Newmont’s capital-efficient project pipeline supports stable production with improving margins and mine life. Near-term development capital projects are presented below. Funding for Subika Underground, Ahafo Mill Expansion, Twin Underground, Quecher Main and Tanami Power projects has been approved and these projects are in execution.

 

Subika Underground, Africa. This project leverages existing infrastructure and an optimized approach to develop Ahafo’s most promising underground resource. First production was achieved in June 2017 with commercial production expected in the second half of 2018. The project is expected to have an average annual gold production of between 150,000 and 200,000 ounces per year for the first five years beginning in 2019 with an initial mine life of approximately 11 years. Development capital costs (excluding capitalized interest) since approval were $80, of which $36 related to the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Ahafo Mill Expansion, Africa. This project is designed to maximize resource value by improving production margins and accelerating stockpile processing. The project also supports profitable development of Ahafo’s highly prospective underground resources. First production is expected in the first half of 2019, with commercial production expected in the second half of 2019. The expansion is expected to have an average annual gold production of between 75,000 and 100,000 ounces per year for the first five years beginning in 2020. Development capital costs (excluding capitalized interest) since approval were $42, of which $20 related to the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Twin Underground, North America. This project is a portal mine beneath Twin Creek’s Vista surface mine with similar mineralization. First production was achieved in August 2017, with commercial production expected in mid-2018. The expansion is expected to have an average annual gold production of between 30,000 and 40,000 ounces per year between 2018 and 2022. Development capital costs (excluding capitalized interest) since approval were $13, of which $9 related to the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Quecher Main, South America. This project will add oxide production at Yanacocha, leverage existing infrastructure and enable potential future growth at Yanacocha. First production is expected in early 2019, with commercial production in the fourth quarter of 2019. Quecher Main extends the life of the Yanacocha operation to 2027 with average annual gold production of about 200,000 ounces per year (on a consolidated basis) between 2020 and 2025. Development capital costs (excluding capitalized interest) since approval were $12, all of which related to the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Tanami Power, Australia. This project will lower power costs from 2019, mitigate fuel supply risk and reduce carbon emissions. The project includes a 450 kilometer natural gas pipeline to be constructed connecting the Tanami site to the Amadeus Gas Pipeline, and construction and operation of two on-site power stations. The gas supply, gas transmission and power purchase agreements are for a ten year term with options to extend.

 

We manage our wider project portfolio to maintain flexibility to address the development risks associated with our projects including permitting, local community and government support, engineering and procurement availability, technical issues, escalating costs and other associated risks that could adversely impact the timing and costs of certain opportunities. 

 

 

2


 

PART I

 

ITEM 1.BUSINESS (dollars in millions, except per share, per ounce and per pound amounts)  

 

Introduction 

 

Newmont Mining Corporation is primarily a gold producer with significant operations and/or assets in the United States, Australia, Peru, Ghana and Suriname.  At December 31, 2017, Newmont had attributable proven and probable gold reserves of 68.5 million ounces and an aggregate land position of approximately 23,000 square miles (60,000 square kilometers). Newmont is also engaged in the production of copper, principally through Boddington in Australia and Phoenix in the United States. Newmont Mining Corporation’s original predecessor corporation was incorporated in 1921 under the laws of Delaware.

 

Newmont’s corporate headquarters are in Greenwood Village, Colorado, USA. In this report, “Newmont,” the “Company,” “our” and “we” refer to Newmont Mining Corporation together with our affiliates and subsidiaries, unless the context otherwise requires. References to “A$” refer to Australian currency and “C$” refer to Canadian currency.

 

Newmont’s Sales and long-lived assets for continuing operations are geographically distributed as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sales

 

Long-Lived Assets

 

 

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

    

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

United States

 

38

%  

39

%  

33

%  

45

%  

45

%  

43

%  

Australia

 

30

%  

32

%  

32

%  

19

%  

19

%  

18

%  

Ghana

 

14

%  

15

%  

15

%  

16

%  

16

%  

16

%  

Peru

 

 9

%  

12

%  

18

%  

14

%  

14

%  

19

%  

Suriname

 

 9

%  

 2

%  

 —

%  

 6

%  

 6

%  

 4

%  

Other

 

 —

%  

 —

%  

 2

%  

 —

%  

 —

%  

 —

%  

 

Segment Information

 

Our regions include North America, South America, Australia, and Africa. Our North America segment consists primarily of Carlin, Phoenix, Twin Creeks and Long Canyon in the state of Nevada and Cripple Creek &Victor (“CC&V”) in the state of Colorado, in the United States (collectively, “U.S.” or “USA”). Our South America segment consists primarily of Yanacocha in Peru and Merian in Suriname. Our Australia segment consists primarily of Boddington, Tanami and Kalgoorlie in Australia. Our Africa segment consists primarily of Ahafo and Akyem in Ghana. See Item 1A, Risk Factors, below, and Note 5 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for information relating to our operating segments, domestic and export sales and lack of dependence on a limited number of customers.

 

Products 

 

References in this report to “attributable gold ounces” or “attributable copper pounds” mean that portion of gold or copper produced, sold or included in proven and probable reserves based on our proportionate ownership, unless otherwise noted.

 

Gold

 

General. We had consolidated gold production from continuing operations of 5.7 million ounces (5.3 million attributable ounces) in 2017,  5.2 million ounces (4.9 million attributable ounces) in 2016 and 5.0 million ounces (4.6 million attributable ounces) in 2015. Of our 2017 consolidated gold production, approximately 38% came from North America, 19% from South America, 28% from Australia and 15% from Africa. 

 

For 2017,  2016 and 2015,  96%,  96% and 95%, respectively, of our Sales were attributable to gold. Most of our Sales come from the sale of refined gold. The end product at our gold operations, however, is generally doré bars. Doré is an alloy consisting primarily of gold but also containing silver and other metals. Doré is sent to refiners to produce bullion that meets the required market standard of 99.95% gold. Under the terms of our refining agreements, the doré bars are refined for a fee, and our share of the refined gold and the separately-recovered silver is credited to our account or delivered to buyers. A portion of gold sold from Boddington and Kalgoorlie in Australia, Phoenix in Nevada and CC&V in Colorado is sold in a concentrate containing other metals such as copper and silver.

 

3


 

Gold Uses. Gold generally is used for fabrication or investment. Fabricated gold has a variety of end uses, including jewelry, electronics, dentistry, industrial and decorative uses, medals, medallions and official coins. Gold investors buy gold bullion, official coins and jewelry.

 

Gold Supply. A combination of mine production, recycling and draw-down of existing gold stocks held by governments, financial institutions, industrial organizations and private individuals make up the annual gold supply. Based on public information available, for the years 2015 through 2017, mine production has averaged approximately 70% of the annual gold supply.

 

Gold Price. The following table presents the annual high, low and average daily afternoon LBMA Gold Price over the past ten years on the London Bullion Market ($/ounce):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 

    

High

    

Low

    

Average

 

2008

 

$

1,011

 

$

713

 

$

872

 

2009

 

$

1,213

 

$

810

 

$

972

 

2010

 

$

1,421

 

$

1,058

 

$

1,225

 

2011

 

$

1,895

 

$

1,319

 

$

1,572

 

2012

 

$

1,792

 

$

1,540

 

$

1,669

 

2013

 

$

1,694

 

$

1,192

 

$

1,411

 

2014

 

$

1,385

 

$

1,142

 

$

1,266

 

2015

 

$

1,296

 

$

1,049

 

$

1,160

 

2016

 

$

1,366

 

$

1,077

 

$

1,251

 

2017

 

$

1,346

 

$

1,151

 

$

1,257

 

2018 (through February 15, 2018)

 

$

1,355

 

$

1,311

 

$

1,331

 

 


Source: London Bullion Market Association

 

On February 15, 2018, the afternoon fixing gold price on the London Bullion Market was $1,352 per ounce.

 

We generally sell our gold at the prevailing market price during the month in which the gold is delivered to the buyers. We currently recognize revenue from a sale when the price is determinable, the gold has been loaded on a vessel or received by the smelter, the title has been transferred and collection of the sales price is reasonably assured.

 

Copper

 

General. We had consolidated copper production from continuing operations of 113 million pounds in 2017,  119 million pounds in 2016 and 125 million pounds in 2015. Copper sales are in the form of concentrate that is sold to smelters for further treatment and refining, and cathode. For 2017,  2016 and 2015,  4%,  4% and 5%, respectively, of our Sales were attributable to copper. Of our 2017 consolidated copper production, approximately 29% came from North America and 71% from Australia.

 

Copper Uses. Refined copper is incorporated into wire and cable products for use in the construction, electric utility, communications and transportation industries. Copper is also used in industrial equipment and machinery, consumer products and a variety of other electrical and electronic applications and is also used to make brass. Copper substitutes include aluminum, plastics, stainless steel and fiber optics. Refined, or cathode, copper is also an internationally traded commodity.

 

Copper Supply. A combination of mine production and recycled scrap material make up the annual copper supply. Mine production since 2015 has accounted for over 70% of total refined production.

 

4


 

Copper Price. The copper price is quoted on the London Metal Exchange in terms of dollars per metric ton of high grade copper. The following table presents the dollar per pound equivalent of the annual high, low and average daily prices of high grade copper on the London Metal Exchange over the past ten years ($/pound):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year 

    

High

    

Low

    

Average

 

2008

 

$

4.08

 

$

1.26

 

$

3.15

 

2009

 

$

3.33

 

$

1.38

 

$

2.34

 

2010

 

$

4.42

 

$

2.76

 

$

3.42

 

2011

 

$

4.60

 

$

3.08

 

$

4.00

 

2012

 

$

3.93

 

$

3.29

 

$

3.61

 

2013

 

$

3.74

 

$

3.01

 

$

3.32

 

2014

 

$

3.37

 

$

2.86

 

$

3.11

 

2015

 

$

2.92

 

$

2.05

 

$

2.49

 

2016

 

$

2.69

 

$

1.96

 

$

2.21

 

2017

 

$

3.27

 

$

2.48

 

$

2.80

 

2018 (through February 15, 2018)

 

$

3.27

 

$

3.06

 

$

3.19

 

 


Source: London Metal Exchange

 

On February 15, 2018, the high grade copper closing price on the London Metal Exchange was $3.22 per pound.  

 

We generally sell our copper concentrate based on the monthly average market price for the third month following the month in which the delivery to the smelter takes place. We currently recognize revenue from a sale when the price is determinable, the concentrate has been loaded on a vessel or received by the smelter, the title has been transferred and collection of the sales price is reasonably assured. For revenue recognition, we use a provisional price based on the estimated forward price of the month of final settlement. The copper concentrate is marked to market through earnings as an adjustment to revenue until final settlement.

 

We generally sell our copper cathode based on the weekly average market price for the week following production. Title is transferred upon loading of the buyer’s truck.

 

Effective January 1, 2018, we are adopting changes to our revenue recognition policy. Refer to Note 2 of the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.

 

Silver

 

General. Silver is produced as a by-product at certain of our operations and is included as a reduction to Costs applicable to sales in the Consolidated Financial Statements. We had consolidated silver production from continuing operations of 3.6 million ounces (3.1 million attributable ounces) in 2017, 3.0 million ounces (2.8 million attributable ounces) in 2016 and 2.8 million ounces (2.6 million attributable ounces) in 2015.

 

Gold and Copper Processing Methods

 

Gold is extracted from naturally-oxidized ores by either milling or heap leaching, depending on the amount of gold contained in the ore, the amenability of the ore to treatment and related capital and operating costs. Higher grade oxide ores are generally processed through mills, where the ore is ground into a fine powder and mixed with water into a slurry, which then passes through a carbon-in-leach circuit. Lower grade oxide ores are generally processed using heap leaching. Heap leaching consists of stacking crushed or run-of-mine ore on impermeable, synthetically lined pads where a weak cyanide solution is applied to the surface of the heap to dissolve the gold. In both cases, the gold-bearing solution is then collected and pumped to process facilities to remove the gold by collection on carbon or by zinc precipitation.

 

Gold contained in ores that are not naturally-oxidized can be directly milled if the gold is liberated and amenable to cyanidation, generally known as free milling ores. Ores that are not amenable to cyanidation, known as refractory ores, require more costly and complex processing techniques than oxide or free milling ore. Higher grade refractory ores are processed through either roasters or autoclaves. Roasters heat finely ground ore to a high temperature, burn off the carbon and oxidize the sulfide minerals that prevent efficient leaching. Autoclaves use heat, oxygen and pressure to oxidize sulfide ores.

 

5


 

Some gold sulfide ores may be processed through a flotation plant or by bio-milling. In flotation, ore is finely ground, turned into slurry, then placed in a tank known as a flotation cell. Chemicals are added to the slurry causing the gold-containing sulfides to attach to air bubbles and float to the top of the tank. The sulfides are removed from the cell and converted into a concentrate that can then be processed in an autoclave or roaster to recover the gold. Bio-milling incorporates patented technology that involves inoculation of suitable crushed ore on an impermeable leach pad with naturally occurring bacteria strains, which oxidize the sulfides over a period of time. The ore is then processed through an oxide mill.

 

At Phoenix and Boddington, ore containing copper and gold is crushed to a coarse size at the mine and then transported via conveyor to a process plant, where it is further crushed and then finely ground as a slurry. The ore is initially treated by successive stages of flotation resulting in a copper/gold concentrate containing approximately 15% to 20% copper. Flotation concentrates are also processed via a gravity circuit to recover fine liberated gold and then dewatered and stored for loading onto ships or rail for transport to smelters. The flotation tailings have a residual gold content that is recovered in a carbon-in-leach circuit.

 

In addition, at Phoenix, copper heap leaching is performed on copper oxide ore and enriched copper sulfide ore to produce copper cathodes. Heap leaching is accomplished by stacking uncrushed ore onto impermeable, synthetically lined pads where it is contacted with a diluted sulfuric acid solution thus leaching the acid soluble minerals into a copper sulfate solution. The copper sulfate solution is then collected and pumped to the solvent extraction (“SX”) plant. The SX process consists of two steps. During the first step, the copper is extracted into an organic solvent solution. The loaded organic solution is then pumped to the second step where copper is stripped with a strong acid solution before being sent through the electrowinning (“EW”) process. Cathodes produced in electrowinning are 99.99% copper.

 

Hedging Activities 

 

Our strategy is to provide shareholders with leverage to changes in gold and copper prices by selling our production at spot market prices. Consequently, we do not hedge our gold and copper sales. To a limited extent, we have and may continue to manage certain risks associated with commodity input costs, interest rates and foreign currencies using the derivative market.

 

For additional information, see Hedging in Item 7A, Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk, and Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Gold, Copper and Silver Reserves 

 

At December 31, 2017, we had 68.5 million attributable ounces of proven and probable gold reserves. Proven and probable gold reserves in 2017 were in line with 2016, as additions of 4.4 million ounces, revisions of 1.9 million ounces, and acquisitions of 0.1 million ounces were offset by depletion of 6.4 million ounces. Reserves at December 31, 2017 were calculated at a gold price assumption of $1,200 or A$1,600  per ounce. A reconciliation of the changes in attributable proven and probable gold reserves during the past three years is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

(millions of ounces)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening balance (1)

 

68.5

 

73.7

 

81.6

 

Depletion

 

(6.4)

 

(6.0)

 

(6.0)

 

Revisions (2)

 

1.9

 

(0.7)

 

(9.8)

 

Additions (3)

 

4.4

 

4.1

 

4.9

 

Acquisitions (4)

 

0.1

 

 —

 

4.0

 

Divestments (5)

 

 —

 

(2.3)

 

(0.3)

 

Discontinued operations (6)

 

 —

 

(0.3)

 

(0.7)

 

Closing balance (7)

 

68.5

 

68.5

 

73.7

 

 

6


 

A reconciliation of the changes in attributable proven and probable gold reserves for 2017 by region is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North

 

South

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

America

    

America

    

Australia

    

Africa

 

(millions of ounces)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening balance

 

28.9

 

6.5

 

20.3

 

12.8

 

Depletion

 

(3.0)

 

(0.8)

 

(1.7)

 

(0.9)

 

Revisions(2)

 

0.4

 

(0.3)

 

1.3

 

0.5

 

Additions (3)

 

2.5

 

0.5

 

1.1

 

0.3

 

Acquisitions (4)

 

 —

 

0.1

 

 —

 

 —

 

Closing balance 

 

28.8

 

6.0

 

21.0

 

12.7

 


(1)

The opening balances include 2.6 million and 3.3 million ounces of gold reserves in 2016 and 2015, respectively, related to Batu Hijau. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(2)

Revisions are due to reclassification of reserves to mineralized material, optimizations, model updates, metal price changes and updated operating costs and recoveries. The gold price assumption remained at $1,200 per ounce in 2017 and 2016. The gold price assumption was decreased from $1,300 to $1,200 per ounce in 2015. The impact of the change in gold price assumption decreased reserves by 2.9 million ounces in 2015. Additionally, reserve balances reported for Conga in 2014 were reclassified to mineralized material in 2015.

(3)

Additions are due to reserve conversions from mineralized material due to new drilling information and successful feasibility studies for first time declarations.

(4)

Acquisitions include an increase in ownership at Yanacocha in December 2017 and the CC&V gold mining business which the Company acquired in August 2015. The increase in ownership at Yanacocha added 0.1 million ounces to proven and probable reserves in 2017. CC&V added 3.8 million ounces, net of production ounces, to proven and probable gold reserves in 2015.

(5)

Divestments are related to (i) the sale of the Batu Hijau mine in November 2016 and (ii) the sale of the Waihi mine in October 2015.

(6)

Amounts relate to depletion, revisions and additions activity at Batu Hijau (previously included in the Australia region), which was sold in November 2016 and classified as discontinued operations. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(7)

The closing balances include 2.6 million ounces of gold reserves in 2015 related to Batu Hijau. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

At December 31, 2017, we had 2,670 million attributable pounds of proven and probable copper reserves. The increase in proven and probable copper reserves during 2017, compared to 2016, is due to revisions of 250 million pounds and additions of 90 million pounds, partially offset by depletion of 160 million pounds. Reserves at December 31, 2017 were calculated at a copper price of $2.50 or A$3.35 per pound. A reconciliation of the changes in attributable proven and probable copper reserves during the past three years is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

(millions of pounds)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening balance (1) 

 

2,490

 

5,670

 

7,930

 

Depletion

 

(160)

 

(170)

 

(110)

 

Revisions (2)

 

250

 

(400)

 

(1,610)

 

Additions (3)

 

90

 

 —

 

 —

 

Divestments (4)

 

 —

 

(2,390)

 

 —

 

Discontinued operations (5)

 

 —

 

(220)

 

(540)

 

Closing balance (6) 

 

2,670

 

2,490

 

5,670

 

 

A reconciliation of changes in attributable proven and probable copper reserves for 2017 by region is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North

 

 

 

 

    

America

    

Australia

 

(millions of pounds)

 

 

 

 

 

Opening balance

 

1,260

 

1,230

 

Depletion

 

(60)

 

(100)

 

Revisions (2)

 

70

 

180

 

Additions (3)

 

60

 

30

 

Closing balance

 

1,330

 

1,340

 


(1)

The opening balances include 2,610 million and 3,150 million pounds of copper reserves in 2016 and 2015, respectively, related to Batu Hijau. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. 

(2)

Revisions are due to reclassification of reserves to mineralized material, optimizations, model updates, metal price changes and updated operating costs and recoveries. The copper price assumption remained at $2.50 per pound in 2017. The copper price assumption was decreased

7


 

from $2.75 to $2.50 per pound in 2016 and from $3.00 to $2.75 per pound in 2015. The impact of the change in copper price assumption decreased reserves by 270 million and 150 million pounds in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Additionally, reserve balances reported for Conga in 2014 were reclassified to mineralized material in 2015.

(3)

Additions are due to reserve conversions from mineralized material due to new drilling information and successful feasibility studies for first time declarations.

(4)

Divestments are related to the sale of Batu Hijau in November 2016.

(5)

Amounts relate to depletion, revisions and additions activity at Batu Hijau (previously included in the Australia region), which was sold in November 2016 and classified as discontinued operations. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(6)

The closing balances include 2,610 million pounds of copper reserves in 2015 related to Batu Hijau. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Our silver reserves are a by-product of gold and/or copper reserves and are included in calculations for mine planning and operations. At December 31, 2017,  we had 87.9 million ounces of attributable proven and probable silver reserves. The decrease in proven and probable silver reserves during 2017, compared to 2016, is due to depletion of 6.6 million ounces, partially offset by revisions of 2.3 million ounces, additions of 1.6 million ounces and acquisitions of 1.3 million ounces. Reserves at December 31, 2017 were calculated at a silver price of $16  per ounce. A reconciliation of the changes in proven and probable silver reserves during the past three years is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2017

    

2016

    

2015

 

(millions of ounces)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening balance (1) 

 

89.3

 

113.3

 

143.6

 

Depletion

 

(6.6)

 

(7.6)

 

(7.0)

 

Revisions (2)

 

2.3

 

(7.4)

 

(21.1)

 

Additions (3)

 

1.6

 

 —

 

 —

 

Acquisitions (4)

 

1.3

 

 —

 

 —

 

Divestments (5)

 

 —

 

(7.9)

 

 —

 

Discontinued operations (6)

 

 —

 

(1.1)

 

(2.2)

 

Closing balance (7) 

 

87.9

 

89.3

 

113.3

 

 

A reconciliation of the changes in attributable proven and probable silver reserves for 2017 by region is as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North

 

South

 

 

    

America

    

America

 

(millions of ounces)

 

 

 

 

 

Opening balance

 

60.9

 

28.4

 

Depletion

 

(3.6)

 

(3.0)

 

Revisions (2)

 

2.1

 

0.2

 

Additions (3)

 

1.5

 

0.1

 

Acquisitions (4)

 

 —

 

1.3

 

Closing balance

 

60.9

 

27.0

 


(1)

The opening balances include 9.0 million and 11.2 million ounces of silver reserves in 2016 and  2015, respectively, related to Batu Hijau. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. 

(2)

Revisions are due to reclassification of reserves to mineralized material, optimizations, model updates, metal price changes and updated operating costs and recoveries. The silver price assumption was decreased from $17 to $16 per ounce in 2017. The silver price assumption was decreased from $19 to $17 per ounce in 2016 and from $20 to $19 per ounce in 2015.  The impact of the change in silver price assumption had no impact in 2017. The impact of the change in silver price assumption decreased reserves by 11 million and 9 million ounces in 2016 and 2015, respectively. Additionally, reserve balances reported for Conga in 2014 were reclassified to mineralized material in 2015.

(3)

Additions are due to reserve conversions from mineralized material due to new drilling information and successful feasibility studies for first time declarations.

(4)

Acquisitions include an increase in ownership at Yanacocha in December 2017. The increase in ownership at Yanacocha added 1.3 million ounces to proven and probable reserves in 2017. 

(5)

Divestments are related to the sale of Batu Hijau, which the Company sold in November 2016.

(6)

Amounts relate to depletion, revisions and additions activity at Batu Hijau (previously included in the Australia region), which was sold in November 2016 and classified as discontinued operations. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

(7)

The closing balances include 9.0 million ounces of silver reserves in 2015 related to Batu Hijau. For further information regarding our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

8


 

Our exploration efforts are directed to the discovery of new mineralized material and converting it into proven and probable reserves. We conduct brownfield exploration around our existing mines and greenfield exploration in other regions globally. Brownfield exploration can result in the discovery of additional deposits, which may receive the economic benefit of existing operating, processing and administrative infrastructures. In contrast, the discovery of mineralization through greenfield exploration efforts will require capital investment to build a stand-alone operation. Our Exploration expense was $179,  $148 and $156 in 2017,  2016 and 2015, respectively.

 

For additional information, see Item 2, Properties, Proven and Probable Reserves.

 

Licenses and Concessions 

 

Other than operating licenses for our mining and processing facilities, there are no third party patents, licenses or franchises material to our business. In many countries, however, we conduct our mining and exploration activities pursuant to concessions granted by, or under contracts with, the host government. These countries include, among others, the United States, Australia, Ghana, Peru and Suriname. The concessions and contracts are subject to the political risks associated with the host country. See Item 1A, Risk Factors, below.

 

Condition of Physical Assets and Insurance 

 

Our business is capital intensive and requires ongoing capital investment for the replacement, modernization or expansion of equipment and facilities. For more information, see Liquidity and Capital Resources in Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Consolidated Financial Condition and Results of Operations, below.

 

We maintain insurance policies against property loss and business interruption and insure against risks that are typical in the operation of our business, in amounts that we believe to be reasonable. Such insurance, however, contains exclusions and limitations on coverage, particularly with respect to environmental liability and political risk. There can be no assurance that claims would be paid under such insurance policies in connection with a particular event. See Item 1A, Risk Factors, below.

 

Environmental Matters 

 

Our United States mining and exploration activities are subject to various federal and state laws and regulations governing the protection of the environment, including the Clean Air Act; the Clean Water Act; the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act; the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act; the Endangered Species Act; the Federal Land Policy and Management Act; the National Environmental Policy Act; the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; and related state laws. These laws and regulations are continually changing and are generally becoming more restrictive. Our activities outside the United States are also subject to various levels of governmental regulations for the protection of the environment and, in some cases, those regulations can be as, or more, restrictive than those in the United States.

 

We conduct our operations so as to protect public health and the environment and believe our operations are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations in all material respects. Each operating mine has a reclamation plan in place that meets in all material respects applicable legal and regulatory requirements. At December 31, 2017,  $1,965 was accrued for reclamation costs relating to current or recently producing properties.

 

We are involved in several matters concerning environmental obligations associated with former, primarily historic, mining activities. Generally, these matters concern developing and implementing remediation plans at the various sites. Based upon our best estimate of our liability for these matters, $289 was accrued at December 31, 2017 for such obligations associated with properties previously owned or operated by us or our subsidiaries. The amounts accrued for these matters are reviewed periodically based upon facts and circumstances available at the time.

 

For a discussion of the most significant reclamation and remediation activities, see Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Consolidated Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Note 6 and Note 29 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, we have developed complementary programs to guide our Company toward achieving transparent and sustainable environmental and socially responsible performance objectives. In support of our management’s commitment towards these objectives, our corporate headquarters are located in an environmentally sustainable, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, gold-certified building. We are committed to managing climate change related risks and responsibly

9


 

managing our greenhouse gas emissions. We have publicly reported our greenhouse gas emissions since 2004 to the Carbon Disclosure Project (now known only as “CDP”). Our greenhouse gas emissions are independently verified to satisfy all the requirements for emissions reporting under ISO International Standard 14064-3:2006. We actively participate in the International Council on Mining and Metals (“ICMM”) and are committed to the ICMM’s 10 Principles of Sustainable Development and its commitment to implement the UN Global Compact's 10 principles on human rights, bribery and corruption, labor and the environment. In 2017, all Newmont operated sites maintained their certification as ISO 14001 compliant except for two new mines commissioned in 2016: Merian in Suriname and Long Canyon in Nevada. Both of these operations will be certified as ISO 14001 compliant within the next two years. We transparently report on our sustainability performance in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (“GRI”) guidelines, including the Mining and Metals Sector Supplement to meet the requirements of GRI Application Level A+. In 2017, for the third year in a row, Newmont was ranked by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (“DJSI World”) as the mining industry’s overall leader in sustainability. Newmont’s inclusion on the index also marked the 11th consecutive year the Company has been selected for the DJSI World. Newmont also received the highest score in the mining sector across a number of areas measured by the index including Occupational Health and Safety, Risk and Crisis Management; Climate Strategy; Environmental Policy and Management Systems; Water-related Risks; Asset Closure Management; and Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy. As of the end of 2017, all of our sites were certified through the International Cyanide Management Code (“ICMC”) or in the process for re-certification by independent auditors except for the two mines commissioned in 2016. Merian and Long Canyon, both commissioned in the fourth quarter 2016, completed independent audits in 2017 within one year of their commercial production dates. The audit reports are currently under review by the International Cyanide Management Institute for certification under the ICMC in 2018.

 

Health and Safety 

 

We conduct our operations so as to protect the health and safety of our employees and contractors and believe that our operations are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations in all material respects. In addition, the Company has an established Health & Safety Management System and Health & Safety Standards that in most cases exceed the regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions in which we operate. The quality of our Health & Safety Management System is audited regularly as part of our assurance and governance process.

 

The safety of our people and the communities in which we operate is our top priority with the right to life and right to safe working conditions among our most salient human rights. We strongly believe it is possible to effectively manage these risks so everyone returns home safely at the end of the day. To embed a culture of Zero Harm, Newmont has centered its health and safety activities on four key focus areas: health and safety leadership, fatality prevention, employee engagement and occupational health and wellness.

 

No work-related fatalities have occurred at any Newmont site or facility since September 2015. While having no fatalities for the second consecutive year is a notable achievement, we still experienced incidents where the outcomes could have been much more significant, highlighting the need to further integrate our fatality risk management system throughout our operations.

 

Managing fatality and health risks remains a core component of our health and safety journey. In recent years, the primary focus of our safety strategy has been on eliminating fatalities in the workplace. Launched in 2016, our Fatality Risk Management system provides the rigor and discipline around understanding our top risks and effectively managing them through robust controls and systems. The Fatality Risk Management system is focused on the top 16 fatality risks that are common across our business along with the three to four critical controls that must be in place every time we undertake a task involving those risks to prevent or minimize the consequence of a fatality. To ensure the critical controls are in place and effective at the time the work activity is occurring, site managers perform frequent field-based observations called verifications. Any deficiencies found during the verifications must be addressed before resuming work. Also essential in preventing fatalities is conducting quality event investigations and ensuring lessons are truly learned and not just shared.

 

Engaging employees requires visible felt leadership and quality safety interactions. Creating a positive safety culture to support injury and fatality prevention requires visible leadership that demonstrates care and concern for people’s safety. In 2017, we recognized that improving quality and consistency of safety interactions supports positive leadership engagement and culture, and a project to redesign the safety interactions program was undertaken.

 

We measure our health and safety performance by leading indicators, such as safety interactions and implementation of effective critical controls, and by tracking lagging indicators, such as injury rates. All significant events are investigated, and lessons learned are shared with workers. Investigations and corrective actions to prevent recurrence related to serious potential and actual events are reported to the executive leadership team and the Board of Directors.

10


 

 

We are committed to learning from and sharing best practices with others. We actively participate in programs to improve our performance as members of the ICMM and the Mining Safety Roundtable. We also participate in regional health and safety programs, such as the Western Australia Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the United States National Mining Association's CORESafety program.

 

Employees and Contractors 

 

Approximately 12,547 people were employed by Newmont and Newmont subsidiaries at December 31, 2017. In addition, approximately 12,111 people were working as contractors in support of Newmont’s operations at December 31, 2017.  

 

Forward-Looking Statements

 

Certain statements contained in this report (including information incorporated by reference herein) are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provided for under these sections. Words such as “expect(s),” “feel(s),” “believe(s),” “will,” “may,” “anticipate(s),” “estimate(s),” “should,” “intend(s)” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Our forward-looking statements may include, without limitation:

 

·

estimates regarding future earnings and the sensitivity of earnings to gold, copper and other metal prices;

 

·

estimates of future mineral production and sales;

 

·

estimates of future production costs, other expenses and taxes for specific operations and on a consolidated basis;

 

·

estimates of future cash flows and the sensitivity of cash flows to gold and other metal prices;

 

·

estimates of future capital expenditures, construction, production or closure activities and other cash needs, for specific operations and on a consolidated basis, and expectations as to the funding or timing thereof;

 

·

estimates as to the projected development of certain ore deposits, including the timing of such development, the costs of such development and other capital costs, financing plans for these deposits and expected production commencement dates;

 

·

estimates of reserves and statements regarding future exploration results and reserve replacement and the sensitivity of reserves to metal price changes;

 

·

statements regarding the availability of, and terms and costs related to, future borrowing or financing and expectations regarding future share repurchase transactions, debt repayments or debt tender transactions; 

 

·

estimates regarding future exploration expenditures, results and reserves and mineralized material;

 

·

statements regarding fluctuations in financial and currency markets;

 

·

estimates regarding potential cost savings, productivity, operating performance and ownership and cost structures;

 

·

expectations regarding statements regarding future transactions, including, without limitation, statements related to future acquisitions and projected benefits, synergies and costs associated with acquisitions and related matters; 

 

·

expectations regarding the start-up time, design, mine life, production and costs applicable to sales and exploration potential of our projects;

 

·

statements regarding future hedge and derivative positions or modifications thereto;  

 

·

statements regarding political, economic or governmental conditions and environments;

11


 

 

·

statements regarding the impacts of changes in the legal and regulatory environment in which we operate, including, without limitation, relating to regional, national, domestic and foreign laws;

 

·

statements regarding expected changes in the tax regimes in which we operate, including, without limitation, estimates of future tax rates and estimates of the impacts to income tax expense, valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, and other financial impacts resulting from recent changes to U.S. tax laws;

 

·

estimates of income taxes and expectations relating to tax contingencies or tax audits;

 

·

estimates of future costs, accruals for reclamation costs and other liabilities for certain environmental matters, including without limitation with respect to our Yanacocha operation;

 

·

estimates of pension and other post-retirement costs; and

 

·

statements regarding estimates of timing of voluntary early adoption of recent accounting pronouncements and expectations regarding future impacts to the financial statements resulting from accounting pronouncements. 

 

Where we express an expectation or belief as to future events or results, such expectation or belief is expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. However, our forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed, projected or implied by those forward-looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to:

 

·

the price of gold, copper and other metal prices and commodities;

 

·

the cost of operations;

 

·

currency fluctuations;

 

·

geological and metallurgical assumptions;

 

·

operating performance of equipment, processes and facilities;

 

·

labor relations;

 

·

timing of receipt of necessary governmental permits or approvals;

 

·

domestic and foreign laws or regulations, particularly relating to the environment, mining and processing;

 

·

changes in tax laws;

 

·

domestic and international economic and political conditions;

 

·

our ability to obtain or maintain necessary financing; and

 

·

other risks and hazards associated with mining operations.

 

More detailed information regarding these factors is included in Item 1, Business; Item 1A, Risk Factors and elsewhere throughout this report. Many of these factors are beyond our ability to control or predict. Given these uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements.

 

All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Newmont or to persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.

 

12


 

Available Information 

 

Newmont maintains a website at www.newmont.com and makes available, through the Investor Relations section of the website, its Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, Section 16 filings and all amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Certain other information, including Newmont’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, the charters of key committees of its Board of Directors and its Code of Conduct are also available on the website. 

 

ITEM 1A.    RISK FACTORS (dollars in millions, except per share, per ounce and per pound amounts) 

 

Our business activities are subject to significant risks, including those described below. You should carefully consider these risks. If any of the described risks actually occurs, our business, financial position and results of operations could be materially adversely affected. Such risks are not the only ones we face and additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business. This report contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including the risks described below. See “Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

Risks Related to Our Business

 

A substantial or extended decline in gold or copper prices would have a material adverse effect on Newmont.

 

Our business is dependent on the prices of gold and copper, which fluctuate on a daily basis and are affected by numerous factors beyond our control. Factors tending to influence prices include:

 

·

Gold sales, purchases or leasing by governments and central banks;

 

·

Speculative short positions taken by significant investors or traders in gold or copper;

 

·

The relative strength of the U.S. dollar;

 

·

The monetary policies employed by the world’s major Central Banks;

 

·

The fiscal policies employed by the world’s major industrialized economies;

 

·

Expectations of the future rate of inflation;

 

·

Interest rates;

 

·

Recession or reduced economic activity in the United States, China, India and other industrialized or developing countries;

 

·

Decreased industrial, jewelry or investment demand;

 

·

Increased import and export taxes;

 

·

Increased supply from production, disinvestment and scrap;

 

·

Forward sales by producers in hedging or similar transactions; and

 

·

Availability of cheaper substitute materials.

 

Any decline in our realized gold or copper price adversely impacts our revenues, net income and operating cash flows, particularly in light of our strategy of not engaging in hedging transactions with respect to gold or copper sales. We have recorded asset impairments in the past and may experience additional impairments as a result of lower gold or copper prices in the future.

 

13


 

In addition, sustained lower gold or copper prices can:

 

·

Reduce revenues further through production declines due to cessation of the mining of deposits, or portions of deposits, that have become uneconomic at sustained lower gold or copper prices;

 

·

Reduce or eliminate the profit that we currently expect from ore stockpiles and ore on leach pads and increase the likelihood and amount that the Company might be required to record as an impairment charge related to the carrying value of its stockpiles;

 

·

Halt or delay the development of new projects;

 

·

Reduce funds available for exploration and advanced projects with the result that depleted reserves may not be replaced; and

 

·

Reduce existing reserves by removing ores from reserves that can no longer be economically processed at prevailing prices.

 

We may be unable to replace gold and copper reserves as they become depleted.

 

Gold and copper producers must continually replace reserves depleted by production to maintain production levels over the long term and provide a return on invested capital. Depleted reserves can be replaced in several ways, including expanding known ore bodies, by locating new deposits or acquiring interests in reserves from third parties. Exploration is highly speculative in nature, involves many risks and uncertainties and is frequently unsuccessful in discovering significant mineralization. Accordingly, our current or future exploration programs may not result in new mineral producing operations. Even if significant mineralization is discovered, it will likely take many years from the initial phases of exploration until commencement of production, during which time the economic feasibility of production may change.

 

We may consider, from time to time, the acquisition of ore reserves from others related to development properties and operating mines. Such acquisitions are typically based on an analysis of a variety of factors including historical operating results, estimates of and assumptions regarding the extent of ore reserves, the timing of production from such reserves and cash and other operating costs. Other factors that affect our decision to make any such acquisitions may also include our assumptions for future gold or copper prices or other mineral prices and the projected economic returns and evaluations of existing or potential liabilities associated with the property and its operations and projections of how these may change in the future. In addition, in connection with any acquisitions we may rely on data and reports prepared by third parties (including ability to permit and compliance with existing regulations) and which may contain information or data that we are unable to independently verify or confirm. Other than historical operating results, all of these factors are uncertain and may have an impact on our revenue, our cash flow and other operating issues, as well as contributing to the uncertainties related to the process used to estimate ore reserves. In addition, there may be intense competition for the acquisition of attractive mining properties.

 

As a result of these uncertainties, our exploration programs and any acquisitions which we may pursue may not result in the expansion or replacement of our current production with new ore reserves or operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial position.

 

Estimates of proven and probable reserves and mineralized material are uncertain and the volume and grade of ore actually recovered may vary from our estimates.

 

The reserves stated in this report represent the amount of gold and copper that we estimated, at December 31, 2017, could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. Estimates of proven and probable reserves are subject to considerable uncertainty. Such estimates are, to a large extent, based on the prices of gold and copper and interpretations of geologic data obtained from drill holes and other exploration techniques, which data may not necessarily be indicative of future results. Producers use feasibility studies for undeveloped orebodies to derive estimates of capital and operating costs based upon anticipated tonnage and grades of ore to be mined and processed, the predicted configuration of the ore body, expected recovery rates of metals from the ore, the costs of comparable facilities, the costs of operating and processing equipment and other factors. Actual operating and capital cost and economic returns on projects may differ significantly from original estimates. Further, it may take many years from the initial phases of exploration until commencement of production, during which time, the economic feasibility of production may change.

14


 

 

Additionally, the term “mineralized material” does not indicate proven and probable reserves as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or the Company’s standards. Estimates of mineralized material are subject to further exploration and development, and are, therefore, subject to considerable uncertainty. Despite the Company’s history of converting a substantial portion of mineralized material to reserves through additional drilling and study work, the Company cannot be certain that any part or parts of the mineralized material deposit will ever be confirmed or converted into SEC Industry Guide 7 compliant reserves or that mineralized material can be economically or legally extracted.

 

In addition, if the price of gold or copper declines from recent levels, if production costs increase or recovery rates decrease or if applicable laws and regulations are adversely changed, we can offer no assurance that the indicated level of recovery will be realized or that mineral reserves or mineralized material can be mined or processed profitably. If we determine that certain of our ore reserves have become uneconomic, this may ultimately lead to a reduction in our aggregate reported reserves and mineralized material. Consequently, if our actual mineral reserves and mineralized material are less than current estimates, our business, prospects, results of operations and financial position may be materially impaired.

 

Increased operating and capital costs could affect our profitability.

 

Costs at any particular mining location are subject to variation due to a number of factors, such as variable ore grade, changing metallurgy and revisions to mine plans in response to the physical shape and location of the ore body, as well as the age and utilization rates for the mining and processing related facilities and equipment. In addition, costs are affected by the price and availability of input commodities, such as fuel, electricity, labor, chemical reagents, explosives, steel, concrete and mining and processing related equipment and facilities. Commodity costs are, at times, subject to volatile price movements, including increases that could make production at certain operations less profitable. Further, changes in laws and regulations can affect commodity prices, uses and transport. Reported costs may also be affected by changes in accounting standards. A material increase in costs at any significant location could have a significant effect on our profitability and operating cash flow.

 

We could have significant increases in capital and operating costs over the next several years in connection with the development of new projects in challenging jurisdictions and in the sustaining and/or expansion of existing mining and processing operations. Costs associated with capital expenditures may increase in the future as a result of factors beyond our control. Increased capital expenditures may have an adverse effect on the profitability of and cash flow generated from existing operations, as well as the economic returns anticipated from new projects.

 

Estimates relating to new development projects and mine plans of existing operations are uncertain and we may incur higher costs and lower economic returns than estimated.

 

Mine development projects typically require a number of years and significant expenditures during the development phase before production is possible. Such projects could experience unexpected problems and delays during development, construction and mine start-up.

 

Our decision to develop a project is typically based on the results of feasibility studies, which estimate the anticipated economic returns of a project. The actual project profitability or economic feasibility may differ from such estimates as a result of any of the following factors, among others:

 

·

Changes in tonnage, grades and metallurgical characteristics of ore to be mined and processed;

 

·

Changes in input commodity and labor costs;

 

·

The quality of the data on which engineering assumptions were made;

 

·

Adverse geotechnical conditions;

 

·

Availability of adequate and skilled labor force;

 

·

Availability, supply and cost of water and power;

 

·

Fluctuations in inflation and currency exchange rates;

15


 

 

·

Availability and terms of financing;

 

·

Delays in obtaining environmental or other government permits or approvals or changes in the laws and regulations related to our operations or project development;

 

·

Changes in tax laws, the laws and/or regulations around royalties and other taxes due to the regional and national governments and royalty agreements;

 

·

Weather or severe climate impacts, including, without limitation, prolonged or unexpected precipitation and/or sub-zero temperatures;

 

·

Potential delays relating to social and community issues, including, without limitation, issues resulting in protests, road blockages or work stoppages; and

 

·

Potential challenges to permits or other approvals or delays in development and construction of projects based on claims of disturbance of cultural resources.

 

Our future development activities may not result in the expansion or replacement of current production with new production, or one or more of these new production sites or facilities may be less profitable than currently anticipated or may not be profitable at all, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

 

For our existing operations, we base our mine plans on geological and metallurgical assumptions, financial projections and commodity price estimates. These estimates are periodically updated to reflect changes in our operations, including modifications to our proven and probable reserves and mineralized material, revisions to environmental obligations, changes in legislation and/or our political or economic environment, and other significant events associated with mining operations. There are numerous uncertainties inherent in estimating quantities and qualities of gold and copper and costs to mine recoverable reserves, including many factors beyond our control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected financial and operating results or result in future impairment charges.

 

We may experience increased costs or losses resulting from the hazards and uncertainties associated with mining.

 

The exploration for natural resources and the development and production of mining operations are activities that involve a high level of uncertainty. These can be difficult to predict and are often affected by risks and hazards outside of our control. These factors include, but are not limited to:

 

·

Environmental hazards, including discharge of metals, concentrates, pollutants or hazardous chemicals;

 

·

Industrial accidents, including in connection with the operation of mining equipment, milling equipment and/or conveyor systems and accidents associated with the preparation and ignition of large-scale blasting operations, milling and processing;

 

·

Accidents in connection with transportation, including transportation of chemicals, explosions or other materials,  transportation of large mining equipment and transportation of employees and business partners to and from sites;

 

·

Surface or underground fires or floods;

 

·

Unexpected geological formations or conditions (whether in mineral or gaseous form);

 

·

Ground and water conditions;

 

·

Fall-of-ground accidents in underground operations;

 

·

Failure of mining pit slopes and tailings dam walls;

 

·

Seismic activity; and

16


 

 

·

Other natural phenomena, such as lightning, cyclonic or tropical storms, floods or other inclement weather conditions, including those impacting operations or the ability to access and supply sites. For example, in 2017 rainfall and flooding in Northern Australia and Peru, temporarily impacted our ability to import fuel and other key deliveries to our Tanami and Yanacocha sites, respectively. 

 

The occurrence of one or more of these events in connection with our exploration activities and development and production of mining operations may result in the death of, or personal injury to, our employees, other personnel or third parties, the loss of mining equipment, damage to or destruction of mineral properties or production facilities, monetary losses, deferral or unanticipated fluctuations in production, environmental damage and potential legal liabilities, all of which may adversely affect our reputation, business, prospects, results of operations and financial position.

 

Our business is subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other extraterritorial and domestic anti-bribery laws, a breach or violation of which could lead to civil and criminal fines and penalties, loss of licenses or permits and other collateral consequences and reputational harm.

 

We operate in certain jurisdictions that have experienced governmental and private sector corruption to some degree, and, in certain circumstances, compliance with anti-bribery laws and heightened expectations of enforcement authorities may be in tension with certain local customs and practices. For example, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other laws with extraterritorial reach, including the U.K. Bribery Act, and anti-bribery laws in other jurisdictions in which we operate generally prohibit companies and their intermediaries from making improper payments for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or other commercial advantage. We have an ethics and compliance program which includes our Code of Conduct, Business Integrity Policy and other policies and standards, all of which mandate compliance with these anti-bribery laws by the Company and its subsidiaries and their personnel. Our program also includes a well-publicized hot line for raising issues and processes for investigating such issues and assurances of non-retaliation for persons who in good faith raise concerns. We report regularly to the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors on such programs. There can be no assurance that Newmont’s internal control policies and procedures will always protect it from misinterpretation of or noncompliance with applicable laws and internal policies, recklessness, fraudulent behavior, dishonesty or other inappropriate acts committed by the Company’s affiliates, employees, agents or associated persons for which we might be claimed to be responsible. As such, our corporate policies and processes may not prevent or detect all potential breaches of law or other governance practices. We occasionally identify or are apprised of information or allegations that certain employees, affiliates, agents or associated persons may have engaged in unlawful conduct for which we might be held responsible. Our policy when receiving credible information or allegations is to conduct internal investigations and compliance reviews to evaluate that information, determine compliance with applicable anti-bribery laws and regulations and company policies and take such remedial steps as may be warranted. In appropriate circumstances, we communicate with authorities in the United States and elsewhere about those investigations and reviews. See Note 29 to the Financial Statements under the heading “Commitments and Contingencies – Investigations.” Violations of these laws, or allegations of such violations, could lead to substantial civil and criminal fines and penalties, litigation, loss of operating licenses or permits and other collateral consequences, and may damage the Company’s reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations or cause the market value of our common shares to decline.

 

Shortages of critical parts and equipment may adversely affect our operations and development projects.

 

The mining industry has been impacted, from time to time, by increased demand for critical resources such as input commodities, drilling equipment, trucks, shovels and tires. These shortages have, at times, impacted the efficiency of our operations, and resulted in cost increases and delays in construction of projects; thereby impacting operating costs, capital expenditures and production and construction schedules.

 

Mining companies are increasingly required to consider and provide benefits to the communities and countries in which they operate, and are subject to extensive environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.

 

As a result of public concern about the real or perceived detrimental effects of economic globalization and global climate impacts, businesses generally and large multinational corporations in natural resources industries, such as Newmont, in particular, face increasing public scrutiny of their activities. These businesses are under pressure to demonstrate that, as they seek to generate satisfactory returns on investment to shareholders, other stakeholders, including employees, governments, communities surrounding operations and the countries in which they operate, benefit and will continue to benefit from their commercial activities. Such pressures tend to be particularly focused on companies whose activities are perceived to have a high impact on their social and

17


 

physical environment. The potential consequences of these pressures include reputational damage, legal suits, increasing social investment obligations to communities and pressure to increase taxes and royalties payable to governments.

 

In addition, our ability to successfully obtain key permits and approvals to explore for, develop and operate mines and to successfully operate near communities around the world will likely depend on our ability to develop, operate and close mines in a manner that is consistent with the creation of social and economic benefits in the surrounding communities, which may or may not be required by law. Our ability to obtain permits and approvals and to successfully operate near particular communities may be adversely impacted by real or perceived detrimental events associated with our activities or those of other mining companies affecting the environment, human health and safety of communities in which we operate. Delays in obtaining or failure to obtain government permits and approvals may adversely affect our operations, including our ability to explore or develop properties, commence production or continue operations. Key permits and approvals may be revoked or suspended or may be varied in a manner that adversely affects our operations, including our ability to explore or develop properties, commence production or continue operations.

 

Our exploration, development, mining and processing operations are subject to extensive laws and regulations governing worker health and safety and land use and the protection of the environment, which generally apply to air and water quality, protection of endangered, protected or other specified species, hazardous waste management and reclamation. For example, in recent years, plans to protect the greater sage grouse, a species whose natural habitat is found across much of the western United States, have been an area of significant focus. As a result, in 2016, Newmont, the State of Nevada and federal agencies agreed to a historic conservation agreement for 1.5 million acres of public and private lands managed by Newmont to protect and enhance the habitat of the greater sage grouse and other sagebrush ecosystem species. In 2017, the current U.S. administration undertook a review of previously proposed federal sage grouse protections, which remains on-going. The extent to which sage grouse conservation plans will be revised and whether additional land withdrawals limiting development activities occurring on federal lands may occur remains unclear. No assurances can be made that restrictions relating to conservation will not have an adverse impact on our growth plans or not result in delays in project development, constraints on exploration and constraints on operations in impacted areas.  

 

Some of the countries in which we operate have implemented, and are developing, laws and regulations related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. We have made, and expect to make in the future, significant expenditures to comply with such laws and regulations. Compliance with these laws and regulations imposes substantial costs and burdens, and can cause delays in obtaining, or failure to obtain, government permits and approvals which may adversely impact our closure processes and operations.

 

Future changes in applicable laws, regulations, permits and approvals or changes in their enforcement or regulatory interpretation could substantially increase costs to achieve compliance, lead to the revocation of existing or future exploration or mining rights or otherwise have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial position. For instance, the operation of our mines in the United States is subject to regulation by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (“MSHA”) under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (the “Mine Act”). MSHA inspects our mines on a regular basis and issues various citations and orders when it believes a violation has occurred under the Mine Act. Over the past several years MSHA has significantly increased the numbers of citations and orders charged against mining operations and increased the dollar penalties assessed for citations issued. If MSHA inspections result in an alleged violation, we may be subject to fines, penalties or sanctions and our mining operations could be subject to temporary or extended closures. MSHA issued fines, penalties or sanctions and mandated temporary or extended closures could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position. See Exhibit 95 to this report for additional information regarding certain MSHA orders and citations issued during the year ended December 31, 2017.

 

Increased global attention or regulation on consumption of water by industrial activities, as well as water quality discharge, and on restricting or prohibiting the use of cyanide and other hazardous substances in processing activities could similarly have an adverse impact on our results of operations and financial position due to increased compliance and input costs.

 

We have implemented a management system designed to promote continuous improvement in health and safety, environmental performance and community relations. However, our ability to operate, and thus, our results of operations and our financial position, could be adversely affected by accidents or events detrimental (or perceived to be detrimental) to the health and safety of our employees, the environment or the communities in which we operate.

 

Mine closure, reclamation and remediation costs for environmental liabilities may exceed the provisions we have made.

 

Natural resource extractive companies are required to close their operations and rehabilitate the lands that they mine in accordance with a variety of environmental laws and regulations. Estimates of the total ultimate closure and rehabilitation costs for gold and copper mining operations are significant and based principally on current legal and regulatory requirements and mine closure plans that may change materially. For example, we have conducted extensive remediation work at two inactive sites in the United

18


 

States. We are conducting remediation activities at a third site in the United States, an inactive uranium mine and mill site formerly operated by a subsidiary of Newmont.

 

The laws and regulations governing mine closure and remediation in a particular jurisdiction are subject to review at any time and may be amended to impose additional requirements and conditions which may cause our provisions for environmental liabilities to be underestimated and could materially affect our financial position or results of operations. For a more detailed description of potential environmental liabilities, see the discussion in Environmental Matters in Note 29 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. In addition, regulators are increasingly requesting security in the form of cash collateral, credit, trust arrangements or guarantees to secure the performance of environmental obligations, which could have an adverse effect on our financial position.

 

Any underestimated or unanticipated retirement and rehabilitation costs could materially affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Environmental liabilities are accrued when they become known, are probable and can be reasonably estimated. Whenever a previously unrecognized remediation liability becomes known, or a previously estimated reclamation cost is increased, the amount of that liability and additional cost will be recorded at that time and could materially reduce our consolidated net income attributable to Newmont stockholders and potentially result in impairments.

 

For example, the Company completed a comprehensive study of the Yanacocha long-term mining and closure plans in 2016 as part of the requirement to submit an updated closure plan to Peruvian regulators every five years. As a result, the Company recorded an increase to the reclamation obligation at Yanacocha for the fourth quarter of 2016 in connection with an update to the Yanacocha closure plan, resulting in an increase to the recorded asset retirement cost related to the producing areas of the mine and a non-cash charge to reclamation expense related to the areas of the mine no longer in production. The increase to the reclamation obligation was primarily due to higher estimated long-term water management costs, heap leach earthworks and related support activities. For additional information regarding our review of the Yanacocha closure plan, see Note 6 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Regulations and pending legislation governing issues involving climate change could result in increased operating costs which could have a material adverse effect on our business.

 

Producing gold is an energy-intensive business, resulting in a significant carbon footprint. Energy costs account for approximately twenty percent of our overall operating costs, with our principal energy sources being purchased electricity, diesel fuel, gasoline, natural gas and coal.

 

A number of governments or governmental bodies have introduced or are contemplating regulatory changes in response to the potential impacts of climate change that are viewed as the result of emissions from the combustion of carbon-based fuels. At the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCC”) held in Paris in 2015, the Paris Agreement was adopted which was intended to govern emission reductions beyond 2020. The Paris Agreement went into effect in November 2016 when countries that produce at least 55% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions ratified the agreement. While there are no immediate impacts to business from the Paris Agreement, the goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2o C” will be taken up at national levels. Industrialized nations (e.g., Australia) are likely to implement national emission reduction targets that require an investment shift towards low carbon technologies and systems, shifting away from coal and diesel power generation. The temperature change goal implies a move to net zero greenhouse gas emissions from energy use and industrial activities by 2050 to 2060. The relevant details of the shift towards low carbon technologies are defined in the national plans, which will need further definition in new rules from each country by 2020. The Trump Administration has announced the intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which begins a lengthy process that will not be completed until November 2020.

 

Some of the countries in which we operate have implemented, and are developing, laws and regulations related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. In December 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued an endangerment finding under the U.S. Clean Air Act that current and projected concentrations of certain mixed greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare. Additionally, the United States and China signed a bilateral agreement in November 2014 that committed the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by the year 2025. The EPA in August 2015 issued final rule for the Clean Power Plan under Section 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at electric utilities in line with reductions planned for the compliance with the Paris Agreement. On October 16, 2017, the EPA as part of a regulatory review directed by the Energy Independence Executive Order has proposed a repeal of the Clean Power Plan. In Australia the Emissions Reduction Fund legislation, Safeguard Mechanism Rule 2015 came into effect on July 1, 2016. Facilities that exceed the baseline mandated by the law in future years are required to purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). Our Tanami operation was forecasted to exceed the baseline related to our planned increased production profile, which would have resulted in a cost impact. The Safeguard Mechanism allows for a

19


 

recalculation of the baseline emissions when there is a change in production output. This baseline recalculation for Tanami was completed and successfully approved by the regulator in 2017.

 

Legislation and increased regulation and requirements regarding climate change could impose increased costs on us, our venture partners and our suppliers, including increased energy, capital equipment, environmental monitoring and reporting and other costs to comply with such regulations. In August 2015, the EPA issued the final rules for the Clean Power Plan under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Under the Clean Power Plan Newmont’s TS Power Plant would be subject to greenhouse gas emission reductions as part of the Nevada compliance plan. The proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan by the EPA substantially reduces the risk of any emission reduction requirements for next few years.

 

The potential physical impacts of climate change on our operations are highly uncertain, and would be particular to the geographic circumstances in areas in which we operate. These may include changes in rainfall and storm patterns and intensities, water shortages, changing sea levels and changing temperatures. Operations that rely on national hydro-electric grid power can be adversely affected by drought resulting in power load-shedding and lost production. These impacts may adversely impact the cost, production and financial performance of our operations. 

 

Our operations are subject to risks of doing business in multiple jurisdictions.

 

Exploration, development, production and mine closure activities are subject to regional, political, economic, community and other risks of doing business, including:

 

·

Disadvantages of competing against companies from countries that are not subject to the rigorous laws and regulations of the U.S. or other jurisdictions, including without limitation, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act and the Dodd-Frank Act;

 

·

Changes in laws or regulations in the jurisdictions in which we operate, including in changes resulting from changes in political administrations;

 

·

Potential instability of foreign governments and changes in government policies, including relating to or in response to changes of U.S. laws or foreign policies;

 

·

Royalty and tax increases or claims, including retroactive increases and claims and requests to renegotiate terms of existing investment agreements, contracts of work, leases, royalties and taxes, by governmental entities, including such increases, claims and/or requests by the governments of Australia, Ghana, Peru, Suriname, the State of Colorado and the State of Nevada in the U.S.;

 

·

Increases in training and other costs and challenges relating to requirements by governmental entities to employ the nationals of the country in which a particular operation is located;

 

·

Delays in obtaining or renewing collective bargaining or certain labor agreements;

 

·

Delays in obtaining or renewing, or the inability to obtain, maintain or renew, necessary governmental permits, mining or operating leases and other agreements and/or approvals;

 

·

Claims for increased mineral royalties or ownership interests by local or indigenous communities;

 

·

Expropriation or nationalization of property;

 

·

Currency fluctuations, particularly in countries with high inflation;

 

·

Foreign exchange controls;

 

·

Restrictions on the ability of local operating companies to sell gold offshore for U.S. dollars, or on the ability of such companies to hold U.S. dollars or other foreign currencies in offshore bank accounts;

 

·

Import and export regulations, including restrictions on the export of gold and/or copper;

20


 

 

·

Increases in costs relating to, or restrictions or prohibitions on, the use of ports for concentrate storage and shipping, such as in relation to our Boddington operation where use of alternative ports is not currently economically feasible or in relation to our ability to procure economically feasible ports for developing projects;

 

·

Restrictions on the ability to pay dividends offshore or to otherwise repatriate funds;

 

·

Risk of loss due to civil strife, acts of war, guerrilla activities, insurrection and terrorism;

 

·

Risk of loss due to criminal activities such as trespass, local artisanal or illegal mining, theft and vandalism;

 

·

Risk of disruption, damage or failure of information technology systems, and risk of loss and operational delays due to impacts to operational technology systems, such as due to cyber-attacks, malicious software computer viruses, security breaches, design failures and natural disasters;

 

·

Risk of loss due to disease, such as malaria or the Zika virus, and other potential endemic health issues, such as Ebola;

 

·

Disadvantage and risk of loss due to the limitations of certain local health systems and infrastructure to contain diseases and potential endemic health issues;

 

·

Risk of loss due to inability to access our properties or operations;

 

·

Disadvantages relating to submission to the jurisdiction of foreign courts or arbitration panels or enforcement or appeals of judgments at foreign courts or arbitration panels against a sovereign nation within its own territory; and

 

·

Other risks arising out of foreign sovereignty over the areas in which our operations are conducted, including risks inherent in contracts with government owned entities such as unilateral cancellation or renegotiation of contracts, licenses or other mining rights.

 

Consequently, our exploration, development and production activities may be affected by these and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, some of which could materially adversely affect our financial position or results of operations.

 

Our operations at Yanacocha and the development of our Conga project in Peru are subject to political and social unrest risks.

 

During the last several years, Minera Yanacocha S.R.L. (“Yanacocha”), in which we own a 54.05% interest, and whose properties include the mining operations at Yanacocha and the Conga project in Peru, has been the target of local political and community protests, some of which blocked the road between the Yanacocha mine and Conga project complexes and the City of Cajamarca in Peru and resulted in vandalism and equipment damage. We cannot predict whether similar or more significant incidents will occur in the future. The recurrence of significant political or community opposition or protests could continue to adversely affect the Conga Project’s development and the continued operation of Yanacocha.

 

Construction activities on our Conga project were suspended on November 30, 2011, at the request of Peru’s central government following increasing protests in Cajamarca by anti-mining activists led by the regional president. At the request of the Peruvian central government, the environmental impact assessment prepared in connection with the project, which was previously approved by the central government in October 2010, was reviewed by independent experts in an effort to resolve allegations around the environmental viability of Conga. This review concluded that the environmental impact assessment complied with international standards and provided some recommendations to improve water management. Yanacocha has focused on the construction of water reservoirs prior to the development of other project facilities. However, development of Conga is contingent upon generating acceptable project returns and getting local community and government support. Under the current social and political environment, the Company does not anticipate being able to develop Conga for at least the next five years. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the project’s development, the Company has allocated its exploration and development capital to other projects in recent years, and the Conga project is currently in care and maintenance. Should the Company be unable to develop the Conga project, the Company may have to consider other alternatives for the project, which may result in a future impairment charge. 

 

The Central Government of Peru continued to support responsible mining as a vehicle for the growth and future development of Peru in 2016. However, we are unable to predict whether the Central government will continue to take similar positions in the future.

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The regional government of Cajamarca and other political parties actively opposed the Conga project in the past. We are unable to predict the positions that will be taken in the future and whether such positions or changes in law will affect Yanacocha or Conga. Such changes may include increased labor regulations, environmental and other regulatory requirements, and additional taxes and royalties, as well as future protests, community demands and road blockages. We cannot predict future positions of either the Central or regional government on foreign investment, mining concessions, land tenure or other regulation. Any change in government positions or laws on these issues could adversely affect the assets and operations of Yanacocha or Conga, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position. Additionally, the inability to develop Conga or operate at Yanacocha could have an adverse impact on our growth and production in the region.

 

 

In addition, in early 2015, the Peruvian government agency responsible for certain environmental regulations, the Ministry of the Environment (“MINAM”), issued proposed water quality criteria for designated beneficial uses which apply to mining companies, including Yanacocha. These criteria would modify the in-stream water quality criteria pursuant to which Yanacocha has been designing water treatment processes and infrastructure. In December 2015, MINAM issued the final regulation that modified the water quality standards. In response in February 2017, Yanacocha submitted its proposed modification to the previously approved Environmental Impact Assessment to the Mining Ministry (“MINEM”), which is still under review. After approval, MINEM may allow up to three years to develop and implement the modifications to the water management system. In the event Yanacocha is unsuccessful in implementing the modifications in compliance with the new regulations and deadlines, it could result in fines and penalties relating to potential intermittent non-compliant exceedances. In addition, if accepted the treatment options will result in increased costs. These impacts may adversely impact the future cost and financial performance of our operations in Peru. 

 

Our Merian operation in Suriname is subject to political and economic risks.

 

We hold a 75% interest in the Merian gold mine in the mid-eastern part of Suriname. The current president of Suriname and others, including a number of members of the current administration, have been named defendants in a trial in connection with the deaths of certain political opponents in a 1982 coup. Those proceedings were previously halted based upon an executive order. However, in January 2017, a court in Suriname directed that the trial be recommenced and remains on-going We cannot predict the outcome of the pending appeal or the trial. However, these proceedings could result in civil and political instability, and heighten the risk of abrupt changes in the government and national policy impacting foreign investment and operators.

 

Operations in Suriname are governed by a mineral agreement with the government that establishes the terms and conditions under which Merian operations and development are conducted. No assurances can be made that the government will not request changes to the agreement in the future. While the government is generally considered by the Company to be mining friendly, it is possible that the current or future government may adopt substantially different policies, make changes in taxation treatment or regulations, take arbitrary action which might halt operations, increase costs, or otherwise impact mining and exploration rights and/or permits, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on the Company's future cash flows, earnings, results of operations and/or financial condition.

 

The government of Suriname previously exercised its option to participate in a fully-funded 25 percent equity ownership stake in Merian. Suriname manages its participation through Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V. (“Staatsolie”), a Surinamese corporation that is wholly owned by the government. The Company can make no assurances that Staatsolie will have sufficient funds or borrowing ability in order to make their capital commitments in accordance with the terms of the partnership agreement. See the risk factor under the heading “Future funding requirements may affect our business” later in this section.

 

Artisanal and illegal miners have been active on, or adjacent to, the Merian mine in recent years. Illegal mining, which involves trespass into the development or operating area of the mine, is both a security and safety issue, which may present a security threat to property and human life. See the risk factor under the heading “Civil disturbances, criminal activities, including illegal mining, and artisanal mining, occurs on or adjacent to certain of our properties, which can disrupt business and expose the Company to liability” later in this section for addition information. 

 

Our business depends on good relations with our employees.

 

Production at our mines is dependent upon the efforts of our employees and, consequently, our maintenance of good relationships with our employees. Due to union activities or other employee actions, we could experience labor disputes, work stops or other disruptions in production that could adversely affect us. At December 31, 2017, various unions represented approximately 26% of our employee work force worldwide. Following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreements with the workforce in Ghana in 2014, annual wage negotiations with the union in connection with the collective bargaining process have required prolonged negotiation. Negotiations relating to 2016 and 2017 wages concluded in March 2017, and negotiations relating to 2018 wages and

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future years remain ongoing. The labor agreement in Peru will expire in February 2019, and the collective labor agreement in Nevada will expire in January 2019. A failure to successfully enter into new contracts could result in future labor disputes, work stoppages or other disruptions in production that could adversely affect our operations and financial performance. Suriname has a history of collective labor activity. While employees at the Merian mine are not currently unionized, we can provide no assurance that collective bargaining activity will not occur in the future. Any such unionization could result in similar risks as described above. There can be no assurance that any future disputes at the Company’s operations or projects will be resolved without disruptions.

 

Our Company and the mining industry are facing continued geotechnical challenges, which could adversely impact our production and profitability.

 

Newmont and the mining industry are facing continued geotechnical challenges due to the older age of certain of our mines and a trend toward mining deeper pits and more complex deposits. This leads to higher pit walls, more complex underground environments and increased exposure to geotechnical instability and hydrological impacts. As our operations are maturing, the open pits at many of our sites are getting deeper and we have experienced certain geotechnical failures at some of our mines, including, without limitation, at our operations in Australia, Nevada, Ghana, Peru and Colorado. For example, pit failures at the Silverstar pit of the Carlin operation in 2016 and in the western wall of the open pit of the KCGM operation in 2017 resulted in temporary shutdowns and have impacted production. See also the risk factor under the heading “Mining companies are increasingly required to consider and provide benefits to the communities and countries in which they operate, and are subject to extensive environmental, health and safety laws and regulations” earlier in this section.

 

No assurances can be given that unanticipated adverse geotechnical and hydrological conditions, such as landslides and pit wall failures, will not occur in the future or that such events will be detected in advance. Geotechnical instabilities can be difficult to predict and are often affected by risks and hazards outside of our control, such as severe weather and considerable rainfall, which may lead to periodic floods, mudslides, wall instability and seismic activity, which may result in slippage of material.

 

Geotechnical failures could result in limited or restricted access to mine sites, suspension of operations, government investigations, increased monitoring costs, remediation costs, loss of ore and other impacts, which could cause one or more of our projects to be less profitable than currently anticipated and could result in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

 

Currency fluctuations may affect our costs.

 

Currency fluctuations may affect the costs that we incur at our operations. Gold and copper are sold throughout the world based principally on the U.S. dollar price, but a portion of our operating expenses are incurred in local currencies. The appreciation of those local currencies against the U.S. dollar increases our costs of production in U.S. dollar terms at mines located outside the United States.

 

The foreign currency that primarily impacts our results of operations is the Australian dollar. We estimate that every $0.10 increase in the U.S. dollar/Australian dollar exchange rate increases annually the U.S. dollar Costs applicable to sales by approximately $81 for each ounce of gold sold from operations in Australia before taking into account the impact of currency hedging. The annual average Australian dollar exchange rate appreciated by approximately 3% from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2017.  The annual average Australian dollar exchange rate depreciated by approximately 1% from December 31, 2015 to December 31, 2016.  We hedge a portion of our future forecasted Australian dollar denominated operating expenditures to reduce the variability of our Australian dollar exposure. Due to the limited nature of the Company’s current Australian hedge program, which extends through February 2018, increases to the Australian dollar/U.S. dollar exchange rate could result in increased costs. The Company may extend its Australian dollar hedge program in the future.

 

Our business requires substantial capital investment and we may be unable to raise additional funding on favorable terms.

 

The construction and operation of potential future projects and various exploration projects will require significant funding. Our operating cash flow and other sources of funding may become insufficient to meet all of these requirements, depending on the timing and costs of development of these and other projects. As a result, new sources of capital may be needed to meet the funding requirements of these investments, fund our ongoing business activities and pay dividends. Our ability to raise and service significant new sources of capital will be a function of macroeconomic conditions, future gold and copper prices, our operational performance and our current cash flow and debt position, among other factors. In the event of lower gold and copper prices, unanticipated operating or financial challenges, or a further dislocation in the financial markets as experienced in recent years, our ability to pursue new

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business opportunities, invest in existing and new projects, fund our ongoing operations, retire or service all of our outstanding debt and pay dividends could be significantly constrained.

 

To the extent that we seek to expand our operations and increase our reserves through acquisitions, we may experience issues in executing acquisitions or integrating acquired operations.

 

From time to time, we examine opportunities to make selective acquisitions in order to provide increased returns to our shareholders and to expand our operations and reported reserves and, potentially, generate synergies. The success of any acquisition would depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to:

 

·

Identifying suitable candidates for acquisition and negotiating acceptable terms;

 

·

Obtaining approval from regulatory authorities and potentially Newmont’s shareholders;

 

·

Maintaining our financial and strategic focus and avoiding distraction of management during the process of integrating the acquired business;

 

·

Implementing our standards, controls, procedures and policies at the acquired business and addressing any pre-existing liabilities or claims involving the acquired business; and

 

·

To the extent the acquired operations are in a country in which we have not operated historically, understanding the regulations and challenges of operating in that new jurisdiction.

 

 

There can be no assurance that we will be able to conclude any acquisitions successfully or that any acquisition will achieve the anticipated synergies or other positive results. Any material problems that we encounter in connection with such an acquisition could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial position.

 

Our operations may be adversely affected by energy shortages.

 

Our mining operations and development projects require significant amounts of energy. Our principal energy sources are electricity, purchased petroleum products, natural gas and coal. Some of our operations are in remote locations requiring long distance transmission of power, and in some locations we compete with other companies for access to third party power generators or electrical supply networks. A disruption in the transmission of energy, inadequate energy transmission infrastructure or the termination of any of our energy supply contracts could interrupt our energy supply and adversely affect our operations.

 

Continuation of our mining production is dependent on the availability of sufficient water supplies to support our mining operations.

 

Our mining operations require significant quantities of water for mining, ore processing and related support facilities. Our operations in North and South America and Australia are in areas where water is scarce and competition among users for continuing access to water is significant. Continuous production at our mines is dependent on our ability to maintain our water rights, claims and contracts and to defeat claims adverse to our current water uses in legal proceedings. Although each of our operations currently has sufficient water rights, claims and contracts to cover its operational demands, we cannot predict the potential outcome of pending or future legal proceedings relating to our water rights, claims, contracts and uses. Water shortages may also result from weather or environmental and climate impacts out of the Company’s control. For example, the continuation of the below average rainfall or the occurrence of drought in southwest Australia could impact our raw water supply at Boddington. While we incorporated systems to address the impact of the dry season as part of our operating plans, we can make no assurances that those systems will be sufficient to address all shortages in water supply, which could result in production and processing interruptions. The loss of some or all water rights for any of our mines, in whole or in part, or shortages of water to which we have rights could require us to curtail or shut down mining production and could prevent us from pursuing expansion opportunities. Laws and regulations may be introduced in some jurisdictions in which we operate which could limit our access to sufficient water resources in our operations, thus adversely affecting our operations.

 

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We are dependent upon information technology systems, which are subject to disruption, damage, failure and risks associated with implementation and integration.

 

We are dependent upon information technology systems in the conduct of our operations. Our information technology systems are subject to disruption, damage or failure from a variety of sources, including, without limitation, computer viruses, security breaches, cyber-attacks, natural disasters and defects in design. Cybersecurity incidents, in particular, are evolving and include, but are not limited to, malicious software, attempts to gain unauthorized access to data and other electronic security breaches that could lead to disruptions in systems, unauthorized release of confidential or otherwise protected information and the corruption of data. Various measures have been implemented to manage our risks related to information technology systems and network disruptions. However, given the unpredictability of the timing, nature and scope of information technology disruptions, we could potentially be subject to production downtimes, operational delays, the compromising of confidential or otherwise protected information, destruction or corruption of data, security breaches, other manipulation or improper use of our systems and networks or financial losses from remedial actions, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our cash flows, competitive position, financial condition or results of operations.

 

We could also be adversely affected by system or network disruptions if new or upgraded information technology systems are defective, not installed properly or not properly integrated into our operations. Various measures have been implemented to manage our risks related to the system implementation and modification, but system modification failures could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations and could, if not successfully implemented, adversely impact the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting.

 

The occurrence of events for which we are not insured may affect our cash flow and overall profitability.

 

We maintain insurance policies that mitigate against certain risks related to our operations. This insurance is maintained in amounts that we believe are reasonable depending upon the circumstances surrounding each identified risk. However, we may elect not to have insurance for certain risks because of the high premiums associated with insuring those risks or for various other reasons; in other cases, insurance may not be available for certain risks. Some concern always exists with respect to investments in parts of the world where civil unrest, war, nationalist movements, political violence or economic crises are possible. These countries may also pose heightened risks of expropriation of assets, business interruption, increased taxation or unilateral modification of concessions and contracts. We do not maintain insurance policies against political risk. Occurrence of events for which we are not insured may affect our results of operations and financial position.

 

We rely on contractors to conduct a significant portion of our operations and construction projects.

 

A significant portion of our operations and construction projects are currently conducted in whole or in part by contractors. As a result, our operations are subject to a number of risks, some of which are outside our control, including:

 

·

Negotiating agreements with contractors on acceptable terms;

 

·

The inability to replace a contractor and its operating equipment in the event that either party terminates the agreement;

 

·

Reduced control over those aspects of operations which are the responsibility of the contractor;

 

·

Failure of a contractor to perform under its agreement;

 

·

Interruption of operations or increased costs in the event that a contractor ceases its business due to insolvency or other unforeseen events;

 

·

Failure of a contractor to comply with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, to the extent it is responsible for such compliance; and

 

·

Problems of a contractor with managing its workforce, labor unrest or other employment issues.

 

In addition, we may incur liability to third parties as a result of the actions of our contractors. The occurrence of one or more of these risks could adversely affect our results of operations and financial position.

 

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We are subject to litigation and may be subject to additional litigation in the future.

 

We are currently, and may in the future become, subject to litigation, arbitration or other legal proceedings with other parties. If decided adversely to Newmont, these legal proceedings, or others that could be brought against us in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our financial position or prospects. For a more detailed discussion of pending litigation, see Note 29 to our Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

In the event of a dispute arising at our foreign operations, we may be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of foreign courts or arbitral panels, or may not be successful in subjecting foreign persons to the jurisdiction of courts or arbitral panels in the United States. Our inability to enforce our rights and the enforcement of rights on a prejudicial basis by foreign courts or arbitral panels could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

 

Title to some of our properties may be defective or challenged.

 

Although we have conducted title reviews of our properties, title review does not preclude third parties from challenging our title or related property rights. While we believe that we have satisfactory title to our properties, some titles may be defective or subject to challenge. For example, at our Conga project in Peru, we continue to seek resolution to a land dispute with local residents. In addition, certain of our Australian properties could be subject to native title or traditional landowner claims, and our ability to use these properties is dependent on agreements with traditional owners of the properties. A determination of defective title or restrictions in connection with a challenge to title rights could impact our ability to develop and operate at certain properties, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position. For more information regarding native title or traditional landowner claims, see the discussion under the Australia Section of Item 2, Properties, in this report.

 

Civil disturbances, criminal activities, including illegal mining, and artisanal mining, occurs on or adjacent to certain of our properties, which can disrupt business and expose the Company to liability.

 

Civil disturbances and criminal activities such as trespass, illegal mining, sabotage, theft and vandalism may cause disruptions and could result in the suspension of operations and development at certain sites. Incidents of such activities have occasionally led to conflict with security personnel and/or police, which in some cases resulted in injuries including in Peru and Suriname. Although security measures have been implemented by the Company to protect employees, property and assets, such measures will not guarantee that such incidents will not continue to occur in the future, or result in harm to employees or trespassers, decrease operational efficiency or construction delays, increase community tensions or result in liabilities. The manner in which the Company’s personnel, national police or other security forces respond to civil disturbances and criminal activities can give rise to additional risks where those responses are not conducted in a manner consistent with international and Newmont standards relating to the use of force and respect for human rights. Newmont takes seriously our obligation to respect and promote human rights, is a signatory to and active participant in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, and has adopted a Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Policy and Human Rights Standard in-line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights due diligence processes. Nonetheless, although the Company has implemented a number of significant measures and safeguards which are intended to ensure that personnel understand and uphold these standards, the implementation of these measures will not guarantee that personnel, national police or other security forces will uphold these standards in every instance. The failure to conduct security operations in accordance with these standards can result in harm to employees, community members or trespassers, increase community tensions, reputational harm to Newmont or result in criminal and/or civil liability and/or financial damages or penalties.

 

Artisanal and illegal miners have been active on, or adjacent to, some of Newmont’s African and South American properties, including recently at Suriname. Illegal mining, which involves trespass into the development or operating area of the mine, is both a security and safety issue, which may present a security threat to property and human life. The illegal miners from time to time have clashed with security staff and law enforcement personnel who have attempted to move them away from the facilities. Although, under certain circumstances, artisanal mining may be a legally sanctioned activity, artisanal mining is also associated with a number of negative impacts, including environmental degradation, poor working practices, erosion of civil society, human rights abuse and funding of conflict. The environmental, social, safety and health impacts of artisanal and illegal mining are frequently attributed to formal mining activity, and it is often assumed that artisanally-mined gold is channeled through large-scale mining operators, even though artisanal and large-scale miners may have separate supply chains. These misconceptions impact negatively on the reputation of the industry. The activities of the illegal miners could cause damage to Newmont’s properties for which Newmont could potentially be held responsible. The presence of illegal miners could lead to exploration and project delays and disputes regarding the development or operation of commercial gold deposits. Illegal mining and theft could also result in lost gold production and reserves, mine and development stoppages, and have a material adverse effect on financial condition or results of operations or project development.

 

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Competition from other natural resource companies may harm our business.

 

We compete with other natural resource companies to attract and retain key executives, skilled labor, contractors and other employees. We also compete with other natural resource companies for specialized equipment, components and supplies, such as drill rigs, necessary for exploration and development, as well as for rights to mine properties containing gold, copper and other minerals. We may be unable to continue to attract and retain skilled and experienced employees, to obtain the services of skilled personnel and contractors or specialized equipment or supplies, or to acquire additional rights to mine properties, which could have an adverse effect on our competitive position or adversely impact our results of operations.

 

Our ability to recognize the benefits of deferred tax assets is dependent on future cash flows and taxable income.

 

We recognize the expected future tax benefit from deferred tax assets when the tax benefit is considered to be more likely than not of being realized, otherwise, a valuation allowance is applied against deferred tax assets. Assessing the recoverability of deferred tax assets requires management to make significant estimates related to expectations of future taxable income. Estimates of future taxable income are based on forecasted cash flows from operations and the application of existing tax laws in each jurisdiction. To the extent that future cash flows and taxable income differ significantly from estimates, our ability to realize the deferred tax assets could be impacted. In the future, our estimates could change requiring a valuation allowance or impairment of our deferred tax assets. Additionally, future changes in tax laws could limit our ability to obtain the future tax benefits represented by our deferred tax assets. For example, in late December 2017, the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”) was enacted into law. While the Company continues to assess the impacts of the Act, the reduction of the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% resulted in an accounting re-measurement and reduction of deferred tax assets of approximately $346. Further, the Act changed certain international tax rules, prompting the Company’s decision to restructure its holding of non-U.S. subsidiaries; reducing deferred tax assets by  $395. See Note 10 to the Financial Statements under the heading “Income and Mining Taxes - Valuation of Deferred Tax Assets” and Note 2 under the heading “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies - Valuation of Deferred Tax Assets” for additional information and factors that could impact the Company’s ability to realize the deferred tax assets. At December 31, 2017, the Company’s non-current deferred tax assets were $537.

 

Returns for investments in pension plans are uncertain.

 

We maintain pension plans for certain employees which provide for specified payments after retirement. The ability of the pension plans to provide the specified benefits depends on our funding of the plans and returns on investments made by the plans. Returns, if any, on investments are subject to fluctuations based on investment choices and market conditions. A sustained period of low returns or losses on investments could require us to fund the pension plans to a greater extent than anticipated. If future plan investment returns are not sufficient, we may be required to increase the amount of future cash contributions.

 

Any downgrade in the credit ratings assigned to our debt securities could increase our future borrowing costs and adversely affect the availability of new financing.

 

There can be no assurance that any rating currently assigned by Standard & Poor’s Rating Services or Moody’s Investors Service to Newmont will remain unchanged for any given period of time or that a rating will not be lowered if, in that rating agency’s judgment, future circumstances relating to the basis of the rating so warrant. If we are unable to maintain our outstanding debt and financial ratios at levels acceptable to the credit rating agencies, or should our business prospects or financial results deteriorate, our ratings could be downgraded by the rating agencies. The Company’s credit ratings have been subject to change over the years. We currently maintain a Standard & Poor’s rating of “BBB” and a Moody’s Investors Service rating of Baa2. We cannot make assurances regarding how long these ratings will remain unchanged or regarding the outcome of the rating agencies future reviews. A downgrade by the rating agencies could adversely affect the value of our outstanding securities, our existing debt and our ability to obtain new financing on favorable terms, if at all, and increase our borrowing costs, which in turn could impair our results of operations and financial position.

Future funding requirements may affect our business.

 

Potential future investments, including projects in the Company’s project pipeline, acquisitions and other investments, will require significant funds for capital expenditures. Depending on gold and copper prices, our operating cash flow may not be sufficient to meet all of these expenditures, depending on the timing of development of these and other projects. As a result, new sources of capital may be needed to meet the funding requirements of these investments, fund our ongoing business activities and pay dividends. Our ability to raise and service significant new sources of capital will be a function of macroeconomic conditions, future gold and copper prices as well as our operational performance, current cash flow and debt position, among other factors. We may determine that it may be necessary or preferable to issue additional equity or other securities, defer projects or sell assets. Additional financing may not be available when needed or, if available, the terms of such financing may not be favorable to us and, if raised by offering

27


 

equity securities, any additional financing may involve substantial dilution to existing shareholders. In the event of lower gold and copper prices, unanticipated operating or financial challenges, or new funding limitations, our ability to pursue new business opportunities, invest in existing and new projects, fund our ongoing business activities, retire or service all outstanding debt and pay dividends could be significantly constrained. In addition, our joint venture partners may not have sufficient funds or borrowing ability in order to make their capital commitments. In the case that our partners do not make their economic commitments, the Company may be prevented from pursuing certain development opportunities or may assume additional financial obligations, which may require new sources of capital.

 

The price of our common stock may be volatile, which may make it difficult for you to resell the common stock when you want or at prices you find attractive.

 

The market price and volume of our common stock may be subject to significant fluctuations due not only to general stock market conditions but also to a change in sentiment in the market regarding our operations, business prospects or liquidity. Among the factors that could affect the price of our common stock are:

 

·

changes in gold, and to a lesser extent, copper prices;

 

·

operating and financial performance that vary from the expectations of management, securities analysts and investors or our financial outlook;

 

·

developments in our business or in the mining sector generally;

 

·

regulatory changes affecting our industry generally or our business and operations;

 

·

the operating and stock price performance of companies that investors consider to be comparable to us;

 

·

announcements of strategic developments, acquisitions and other material events by us or our competitors;

 

·

our ability to integrate and operate the companies and the businesses that we acquire;

 

·

response to activism; and

 

·

changes in global financial markets and global economies and general market conditions, such as interest or foreign exchange rates, stock, commodity, credit or asset valuations or volatility.

 

The stock markets in general have experienced extreme volatility that has at times been unrelated to the operating performance of particular companies. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the trading price of our common stock.

 

Holders of our common stock may not receive dividends.

 

Holders of our common stock are entitled to receive only such dividends as our Board of Directors may declare out of funds legally available for such payments. We are incorporated in Delaware and governed by the Delaware General Corporation Law. Delaware law allows a corporation to pay dividends only out of surplus, as determined under Delaware law or, if there is no surplus, out of net profits for the fiscal year in which the dividend was declared and for the preceding fiscal year. Under Delaware law, however, we cannot pay dividends out of net profits if, after we pay the dividend, our capital would be less than the capital represented by the outstanding stock of all classes having a preference upon the distribution of assets. Our ability to pay dividends will be subject to our future earnings, capital requirements and financial condition, as well as our compliance with covenants and financial ratios related to existing or future indebtedness. Although we have historically declared cash dividends on our common stock, we are not required to declare cash dividends on our common stock and our Board of Directors may modify the dividend policy or reduce, defer or eliminate our common stock dividend in the future.