NYC Pension Funds' Shareholder Resolutions Blocked at Mining Company

April 7, 2005 ( - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has allowed Newmont Mining Inc. to omit a shareholder resolution submitted by five New York City pension plans that called for a review of its policies concerning toxic waste disposal at its mining operation in Indonesia.

In November 2004, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS), the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), the Police Pension Fund, the Fire Department Pension Fund and the Board of Education Retirement System (BERS) submitted the resolution to the mining company, which has operations in Indonesia . The funds have a combined 1,469,818 shares worth $68.53 million in Newmont Mining.

The resolution urged the company to review its waste disposal policies in Indonesian operations. According to the pension funds, the company has admitted to releasing 33 tons of mercury into the air and water over the past five years in the country. The nation’s government has filed a lawsuit against the company, demanding environmental and health damages to the tune of $133.6 million.

Newmont had asked the SEC to allow it to omit the funds’ resolution, according to the pension funds.   The SEC recently agreed with the company’s position. The Comptroller of the City and the funds had requested reconsideration of that decision, but the SEC denied that request.