A new book on the history of Newmont Mining Corp. details the evolution of the company that gave birth to the modern gold industry. As told by Jack H. Morris, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and Newmont insider, Morris recounts the prowess and challenges faced by one of the world’s oldest mining companies.
Going for Gold: the History of Newmont Mining Corporation traces the company’s history from its turn of the century creation by a wealthy Wall Street executive to its leadership in every facet of modern mining— exploration, technology, legal theory, finance and more recently, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility. Along the way, Newmont has survived dramatic encounters with corporate raiders such as T. Boone Pickens and Jimmy Goldsmith, an epic battle with the French over control of South America’s largest gold mine, issues with the Indonesian government and at times unrelenting pressure from anti-mining activists. The book profiles how the company prospered during the Great Depression by buying the most famous gold mines in California; how it contributed to the production of strategic metals such as lead and zinc during World War II; and how it became one of the world’s largest copper producers and then turned back to gold once the government lifted price controls on the metal in 1972. The company’s ability to adapt to changing economic and political circumstances has been a hallmark of Newmont’s success over the decades.
Morris also provides an insider’s look at Newmont’s acquisitions including Santa Fe Pacific Gold, Franco-Nevada and Normandy Mining, while also exploring the issues that twice prevented a merger with Barrick Gold.
The discovery of submicroscopic or “invisible” gold at Carlin, Nevada, in 1963 earned Newmont a permanent place in mining history. The discovery, writes Nevada State Geologist Jonathan Price, “is one of the most significant events in worldwide mining,” as Newmont became the first to see and uncover the potential of massive, low-grade gold deposits.
Morris, a former vice president of investor relations at Newmont, had unique access to the company’s documents and people, interviewing more than 80 Newmont officers and employees. Sensitive about objectivity, he insisted on working at arm’s length from Newmont, which exercised no control over the book’s content.
“What makes Going for Gold unique is that decisionmakers were able to speak candidly about transforming events without going through a PR filter,” says Morris. For more information, to order a copy of the 395-page book from Going for Gold: the History of Newmont Mining Corporation, visit the University of Alabama Press.