ELKO – Nevada Gold Mines, the joint venture being finalized by Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Goldcorp Corp. for the operation of their mines in Nevada, will employ several dozen fewer people.
Although 130 positions were eliminated as a result of the joint venture combination, approximately 60 employees were transferred to new positions or relocated to different site or office locations, according to Rebecca Darling, head of community and corporate affairs for Barrick North America.
The 70 employees who were impacted by the layoffs – including 58 from Newmont — received notice from their respective employer. Both Barrick and Newmont are providing severance packages and job transition support.
“We went through a very vigorous process of evaluating people and talent and the needs of the business,” Darling said on May 28.
Employees were notified last week of the job cuts.
“We understand and appreciate and know that last week was hard ...” Darling said. “We don’t take it lightly and none of it was done quickly or flippantly.”
Lisa Becker, director of communications, sustainability and external relations for Newmont, issued a statement May 28, which says “over the past few weeks, Nevada Gold Mines joint venture leadership has evaluated the organization and personnel required for the combined business going forward.
“As a result, decisions have been made resulting in a workforce reduction impacting 58 Newmont Goldcorp employees, mostly in Elko, with some at Twin Creeks, Long Canyon and Winnemucca. The employees were notified by management and human resources last week.”
She said that the decisions “were not taken lightly, and we recognize the impact this has on our workforce and the community. We are committed to treating our impacted employees with dignity and respect, while also providing them with severance packages and work placement support.”
This is the second round of Newmont layoffs this year.
The company laid off roughly 120 employees at its Carlin operations back in early January because of economic impacts from a giant slide at the Gold Quarry open pit in October 2018 and cost impacts at the Emigrant open pit mine.
Barrick and Newmont agreed in March to form a joint venture for the operation of the gold mines in Nevada, with Barrick as the operator and 61.5 percent owner. Newmont owns the remaining 38.5 percent. The companies maintain they will see an estimated $500 million in average annual pre-tax synergies in the first five full years of Nevada Gold Mines.
“Safe and efficient operation is the focus for both companies in the run up to the closing of the joint venture — and will continue to be of Nevada Gold Mines as we continue to focus on getting the right people, talent and resources in place to align with business objectives that extend the life of our mines and promote future growth,” Darling said.
Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in an Elko visit earlier this month that Nevada Gold Mines will be headquartered in the Newmont building, and the joint venture would employ miners in their current positions until Jan. 1 to allow the joint venture to set up a Nevada Gold Mines payroll.
He expected then that the joint venture would be completed by June 30.
Nevada Gold Mines includes Barrick’s Cortez complex, including Goldrush, the Goldstrike complex, South Arturo, which is a joint venture with Premier Gold, and the Turquoise Ridge Mine, in which Newmont already held a 25 percent stake, and Newmont’s Carlin, Long Canyon, Phoenix, Twin Creeks, Emigrant and Lone Tree mines.
This has been a big year for both companies. Barrick acquired Randgold Resources Jan. 1 and tried a Barrick-Newmont merger before dropping that in favor of the joint venture. Newmont acquired Goldcorp Inc. to create the new Newmont Goldcorp Corp. in April.
The joint venture has thousands of employees but an exact count was unavailable Tuesday.