Newmont Mining Corp. and a Mercury Spill in Peru (A)
(9 pages of text)
The CEO of Newmont Mining Corporation (Newmont) had learned that a subcontractor’s truck en route to Lima from Yanacocha, a gold mine operated by Newmont, spilled mercury along the highway and in small villages. Local residents had picked up some mercury with their bare hands and taken it to their homes. The CEO was trying to determine the best way to handle the situation. This A case describes the mine developer’s history, the operations at Newmont’s most profitable gold mine, the significance of foreign investment to Peru’s economy, the environmental impact of gold mining and the local and anti-mining movements' responses to mine operations. In the B case, Newmont Mining Corp. and a Mercury Spill in Peru (B) 9B13M003
, the new CEO is trying to decide what else Newmont is morally required to implement before continuing to operate Yanacocha, and Newmont’s other mines, successfully.
The A and B cases can be used in business ethics courses at all levels from undergraduate to executive education. In a typical 75-minute class, it is recommended that instructors focus on the A case and moral principles that guide business decision making. With a longer class period, particularly with MBA and EMBA students, the B case can be handed out in class to extend the discussion to the role of business in society.
The cases raise the following issues:
- Moral responsibility of companies to those affected by operations — workers, surface rights owners in the surrounding communities and other residents.
- Moral legitimacy of mining and the social license to operate.
- Role of companies versus the state in poor areas in developing economies.
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Peru, Large, 2000
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