We aspire to be a responsible member of the communities which host our operations. In 2011, we have therefore worked to achieve the objectives set out in our 2010 report of:
- Defining expectations for community and social performance through community-focused management standards; and
- Including community aspects in the ISO 14001 management system in order to integrate community and environmental systems more effectively.
Against these targets, we finalised and approved a body of standards in the area of community relations. These will be implemented as a blueprint, pending additional work being undertaken to understand the full financial liabilities which arise from application of the standards. These blueprint standards, which are based on international good practice and take into consideration ISO 26000 guidelines, will support the development of a more consistent approach to community relations and socio-economic contributions across the group. They became effective in October 2011 and cover:
- Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM);
- Cultural heritage and sacred sites;
- Indigenous Peoples;
- Community complaints and grievances;
- Socio-economic contribution; and
- Land access and resettlement.
These management standards were approved prior to the revised International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) standards coming into effect in January 2012. As we followed the work of the IFC in developing their standards, it is not expected that significant changes will need to be made to align our standards with the IFC. An exception could be the issue of Free, Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) in the Indigenous Peoples management standard. We await the outcome of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)’s engagement with the IFC on this issue.
Due to the fact that the community management standards only came into effect in October 2011, the target for incorporation of community aspects into ISO 14001 has been moved out to 2014. Monitoring of this commitment will be included in the standards’ implementation and compliance review programme.
Engagement with our social partners continues to be a key strategy in striving to achieve shared benefit for AngloGold Ashanti and our host communities. While we are conscious that improvement is required in addressing engagement in a consistent way across the group, we are beginning to see the results of sustained and strategic engagement approaches with key stakeholders in a number of sites. For example:
- At CC&V in the USA, where we are building relationships with local government to co-design and partner in local social and economic development programmes.
- At Obuasi in Ghana, where we continue to engage with national and local government, the Chamber of Mines, the Mineral Commission and a number of interest groups to find sustainable solutions to the ASM challenge in the area.
- In the South Africa region, where we engage with executive mayors in some of our labour sending centres leading to the identification of potential local economic development projects in those areas.
In 2012, we will develop several community management guidelines to give effect to some of the standards. Included will be a guideline on engagement. The intent is to assist operations towards practical, effective and strategic engagement with stakeholders and social partners. The two country focus case studies which follow give insight into how these issues are managed in Guinea and South Africa.