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Continental Africa region | Regional sustainability strategies | Context and strategy - AngloGold Ashanti Annual Reports 2011
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Map - Continental Africa region

Continental Africa region

Mali1
Gold produced (000oz)* 249
% contribution to global production 5.8
No of employees* 1,461
Productivity per employee (oz/TEC) 18.61
Ghana2
Gold produced (000oz) 512
% contribution to global production 11.8
No of employees 7,081
Productivity per employee (oz/TEC) 7.66
Guinea3
Gold produced (000oz)* 249
% contribution to global production 5.8
No of employees 3,666
Productivity per employee (oz/TEC) 12.03
Namibia4
Gold produced (000oz) 66
% contribution to global production 1.5
No of employees 790
Productivity per employee (oz/TEC) 7.00



Tanzania5
Gold produced (000oz) 494
% contribution to global production 11.4
No of employees 3,541
Productivity per employee (oz/TEC) 18.11

* Attributable

 

This region accounted for 36% of AngloGold Ashanti’s global gold production in 2011 and has significant potential for growth. However, over the years, inconsistent approaches to social and environmental issues at operations in the Continental Africa region has affected the region’s core business.

To achieve the potential for business growth in the region in a way that contributes to wider social and economic development, a comprehensive and transformative approach to managing sustainability issues has been adopted – similar to that of AngloGold Ashanti’s safety transformation.

In 2011, we started to develop a transformation model for the region. The implementation of the model at each operation will primarily be achieved through the development of mine sustainability strategies based on the United Nations millennium development goals. See the country focus on Guinea for an explanation of how this model is being piloted at our Siguiri operation. See Country focus – Guinea.

The model encompasses the way we work and manage ourselves internally, the quality of relationships with our stakeholders and the impact we have on our different stakeholder groups. It is designed to positively and proactively address the issues which have previously affected our core business, including:

  • Community disputes, which have led to protests and business interruptions at a number of operations. At Siguiri in Guinea, for example, there have been ongoing protests over issues relating to electricity supply, land compensation and employment. Actions taken in 2011 to work with local communities to achieve common developmental objectives are detailed in the Country focus on Guinea later in this report;
  • Failure to meet environmental standards, which resulted in the temporary closure of Iduapriem in Ghana in February 2010 and the suspension of gold processing at Obuasi in March 2010. Measures taken in 2011 to improve the environmental performance in Ghana are detailed below; and
  • Poor compensation practices, which have made it difficult for the company to gain access to new land. Issues relating to compensation for the community in Ajopa, a potential growth area for the business in Ghana, were resolved in 2011. At Siguiri in Guinea, however, compensation remains a significant area of concern.

Transformation on the scale that we envisage requires many years to achieve. We know that AngloGold Ashanti has the ability to achieve this goal as proven in our success in transforming our safety record. Nevertheless, long-term, real change needs to happen in a way that is both well-structured and manageable. With this in mind, we have divided our journey into three distinct stages over a period of 10 years.

To begin we envisage a period of Stabilisation. This one- to three-year time horizon, from 2012 to 2014, will give us the space to secure our legal and social licence to operate. We will do this by ensuring that our operations address the most significant potential liabilities and risk areas.

Following this initial phase, we will focus efforts on a period of Optimisation. Optimisation efforts will start as early as 2012 and will intensify through to 2018. The goal for AngloGold Ashanti during this period is to ensure our operations do no harm and that we achieve consistent business and sustainability performance by building a capable and engaged workforce. This will include implementing effective, efficient and reliable systems and processes.

The final period of transformation is Growth. This phase will take us from 2012 to 2022, and will culminate in AngloGold Ashanti becoming the preferred mining operator and being recognised as the leading mining company globally. Our strategy for achieving this includes implementing best practices across all sites and creating a shared plan for resource endowment.

Sustainability initiatives in Ghana in 2011

Success (at Obuasi) requires that the company address Obuasi systemically in its planning, its engagement and communications, its investments, its governance and its development of capabilities.

Extract from the report of the sustainability review panel following its visit to Ghana in May 2011

In 2011, the turnaround of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine in Ghana was a key area of focus for the company. The operation faces a well-documented range of operating and sustainabilityrelated challenges, but remains one of the world’s great ore bodies with a Mineral Resource base of more than 30Moz.

An operating taskforce was appointed at the beginning of 2011. Operating stability has been achieved, with operations meeting production and cost targets in 2011, and the taskforce is advancing plans for medium- and long-term growth.

As part of the turnaround strategy for Obuasi, a major initiative was launched to address sustainability issues at the highest level. This strategy involves reconfiguring the environmental and social teams, more than doubling their size, and putting in place aggressive strategies to address some of Obuasi’s long-term and persistent challenges. In 2011, sustainability teams made progress in putting staff in place and developing clear role descriptions. A plan and budget for environmental work has been completed and several environmental projects were progressed.

In the area of water management, which has been a major issue of stakeholder concern, progress made in 2011 included the commissioning of a reverse osmosis plant in the northern section of the mine which functions in conjunction with complementary water treatment technologies to ensure that water released is compliant with Ghana’s water quality standards. At the southern section of the mine, additional equipment was commissioned in 2011 to increase the volume of water that can be recycled into the production process. At Iduapriem, a plant extension was successfully commissioned, which ensures that the operation can release excess water while fully meeting effluent discharge standards. In 2011, a total of approximately $14m was spent on various water management interventions (including treatment plants and storm water infrastructure).

In the area of land management the first phase of work involving a risk analysis has been completed.

Mr Richard Duffy

PODCAST

We have made significant progress at our Ghanaian operations in stabilising our operational performance and addressing some of the key issues, specifically in the area of sustainability. The Obuasi Task Force has focused on 3 key areas: stabilisation and optimisation, sustainability and the development of a future blueprint for Obuasi.

Mr Richard Duffy, Executive Vice President: Continental Africa Region, AngloGold Ashanti

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In Ghana in particular, any assessment of performance needs to be seen in the context of the more than 110-year history of mining. In the past, parts of the country’s mineral endowment were exploited using mining and environmental management methods that are unsatisfactory by today’s standards.

The Ghanaian Chamber of Mines, in response to the Public Eye Award to AngloGold Ashanti in January 2011

Members of our sustainability review panel visited the Dokyiwa village
Members of our sustainability review panel visited the Dokyiwa village at Obuasi in Ghana, during its construction by AngloGold Ashanti in mid-2011. This area was designated for re-settlement as a consequence of the Sanso community formerly occupying land near our tailings dam which was unsafe. Panel members were not required to wear full personal protection equipment as they had not yet ventured into the village under construction