AngloGold Ashanti is engaged in a number of initiatives that promote product responsibility in gold. The company is a member of both the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and the World Gold Council (WGC).
The ICMM furthers responsible production in the mining and metals industries by acting as a catalyst for performance improvement and contributing to sustainable development. Many of the world’s major metals and mining companies are members of the ICMM. ICMM members are required to implement the ICMM Sustainable Development Framework, which comprises three elements: a set of 10 principles, public reporting and independent assurance. The principles cover all aspects of sustainability performance. Members are also required to implement a number of position statements that give greater clarity to some of the commitments in the 10 principles. Company members must report their performance against the 10 principles in accordance with GRI guidelines. Lastly, they must provide third-party verification that they meet their commitments to the 10 principles.
The RJC is an international not-for-profit organisation bringing together companies across the jewellery supply chain. RJC members are committed to promoting responsible ethical, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the industry from mines to jewellery shops.
The WGC is a global gold marketing body funded by the world’s leading gold mining companies. It is actively engaged in various product responsibility initiatives and is a member of both the ICMM and the RJC.
Details of specific product responsibility initiatives in which AngloGold Ashanti participates, including through these three bodies, are detailed below.
The information below provides disclosure under the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicator MM11: Programmes and progress relating to materials stewardship.
Gold mining uses and produces a wide range of materials, from the upstream inputs procured through our supply chain to produce gold safely and efficiently to downstream outputs in the form of the products and by-products created through the process of extracting gold from the ground. A chemicals management standard sets requirements for assessing chemicals safety and the necessary management controls to ensure that they are handled and disposed of responsibly.
Sodium cyanide’s procurement, transportation, use and disposal are the subject of the International Cyanide Management Code.
AngloGold Ashanti participates actively in a number of international initiatives aimed at addressing specific areas of concern through the process of mining gold. The International Council on Mining and Metals has had an active materials stewardship programme since its inception in 2002. More recently, the World Gold Council and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) have been developing chain of custody standards to enable members to demonstrate that the process of producing gold (the RJC only) and the chain from mine to smelter to refinery and beyond (both WGC and RJC) is responsible and in particular does not contribute to conflict.
In order to demonstrate that none of our operations fund or support armed groups, we are contributing to the development of the WGC’s obligatory responsible gold standards and the RJC’s voluntary chain of custody standard, as well as the gold supplement to the OECD’s ‘Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas’, each of which is due for finalization in 2012. The WGC and RJC standards are intended amongst others to enable members to demonstrate compliance with the US Dodd Frank Act section 1502 and to the OECD guidance.
Two high-volume by-products of AngloGold Ashanti’s gold production process, both of which result from the characteristics of local geology, are uranium, produced by our South African operations, and sulphuric acid, produced by our Brazilian operations.
To ensure radiation protection of persons, property and the environment, the National Nuclear Regulator regulates facilities. Among the many safety standards and regulatory practices specified by the NNR is compliance with the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material. Nufcor has established comprehensive transport and emergency response programmes for local conveyance and international shipment of uranium. Transport and shipping service providers are carefully selected to ensure suitability and are subjected to annual inspections to verify compliance with regulatory requirements.
In order to ensure effective monitoring of the process of generating and disposing of sulphuric acid, AngloGold Ashanti conducts controls of several parameters related to air, water and noise, in accordance with plant operating permits. Some 2500 analyses are taken per month, assuring the quality of groundwater and surface water.
Online monitoring of gas emissions from the acid plants ensures compliance, at a minimum, with the legal standards applicable to such emissions. Data from the acid plant stacks and noise levels in the vicinity of the plant, as well as calibration data of sulphur dioxide analyzers are sent to the environment agency biannually. Reports of air quality, analyzed at five different points around the plant, show minimal interference of the process on neighbouring areas. A constant concern at the sulphuric acid plant is efficient use of natural resources. The plant started using a new cooling system in mid-2010, which has led to a reduction in fresh water consumption from 2.1 m3 per tonne of processed ore in 2009 to 1.8 m3 per tonne. Controls for the transportation of sulphuric acid to customers are rigorously followed and incorporated into the Queiroz emergency plan. The accreditation of acid carriers is subject to review and approval by AngloGold Ashanti’s Environmental Management Department.
The information below provides disclosure under Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) product responsibility indicators
PR1: Life cycle stages in which health and safety impacts of products and services are assessed for improvement, and percentage of significant products and services categories subject to such procedures
The company's primary product is gold. Gold is a benign product which has no significant health or safety impacts. However, the activities involved in the mining and processing of gold, in some of the by-products generated, have the potential to negatively affect the safety and health of employees and communities, and their environment. AngloGold Ashanti is involved in a number of initiatives that promote responsible gold production, as detailed above.
PR3: Type of product and service information required by procedures, and percentage of significant products and services subject to such information requirements
As we sell gold in unwrought form, packaging requirements are minimal and this disclosure is therefore not significant in our business.
PR6: Programmes for adherence to laws, standards and voluntary codes related to marketing communications, including advertising, promotion and sponsorship
This disclosure does not relate to our business as AngloGold Ashanti does not conduct extensive marketing communications programmes and does not therefore generate any significant impact in this area.
PR9: Monetary value of significant fines for non-compliance with laws and regulations concerning the provision and use of products and services
No material fines were reported for the period under review.
The information below provides disclosure under other Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators relating to the responsible production and sale of gold as well as our approach to public policy engagement, a key aspect of responsible corporate practice.
EN27: Percentage of products sold and their packaging materials that are reclaimed by category
Our products are not sold with packaging. Our primary product, gold, being a very expensive commodity and a precious metal that is generally not applied in dispersive uses, is infinitely recycled by the market.
EN26: Initiatives to mitigate environmental impacts of products and services, and extent of impact mitigation
Our products are not sold with packaging. Our primary product, gold, being a precious metal, is infinitely recycled by the market.
SO2: Percentage and total number of business units analysed for risks related to corruption
As part of the enterprise risk management roll out within the group, a baseline fraud and corruption risk assessment was developed in 2010. The first round of rolling out the fraud and corruption risk assessment has successfully been completed at 20% of all operations during 2011 with 25% of the operations having started the roll out process in 2011. It is anticipated that the remainder of our operations will have completed the first round roll out by the end of 2012. However, it should be noted that in addition to the baseline fraud and corruption risk assessment being rolled out the group has other existing anti-fraud and anti-corruption policies and procedures.
SO3: Percentage of employees trained in organisation’s anti-corruption policies and procedures
Employees are informed of the company’s values, policies and procedures at engagement and regularly thereafter. In 2011, training was conducted in all operating regions including the corporate office in South Africa. So far, more than 2,000 employees (4 % of full time employees) have undergone training on the company’s Code of Ethics and compliance policies including the subject of corruption. Under the current system if concerns arise, employees are encouraged to discuss these with their direct managers first where this is appropriate and, if not resolved or where management is involved, to report these through the whistle-blowing line or directly to the internal audit, Human Resources, Compliance or legal departments.
Risk assessment processes incorporate risks relating to corruption. In addition, a policy relating to the delegation of authority has been implemented. All reports made in terms of the whistle-blowing are administered by a third party, which ensures all reports are treated confidentially or anonymously, according to the preference of the caller. Feedback on reports is given when requested. A report is provided quarterly to the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee and to our Executive Committee. The whistle-blowing line is accessible to all employees, in the most applicable languages and time zones.
SO4: Actions taken in response to incidents of corruption.
During 2011, 10 reports received through the independently operated whistle-blowing line were classified as bribery and corruption related. The investigation activities on seven of these reports were completed during 2011 and resulted in the dismissal of employees in two cases, the resignation of an employee in one case, the termination of a supplier contact in one case and the monitoring the activities of a supplier in once case. Two allegations reported were established to be unfounded. Investigations on the other three reports received are ongoing. However, we believe that none of these reports, individually or in the aggregate, is material.
SO5: Public policy positions and participation in public policy development and lobbying
AngloGold Ashanti engages directly with several international external initiatives on public policy issues. As part of this engagement strategy, AngloGold Ashanti is committed to membership of, or support for, several external initiatives, which deal with key issues of concern to the company and its stakeholders.
The accompanying table summarises these memberships and the significant issues of concern for AngloGold Ashanti in relation to each body. There are no significant differences between our policies in each area and those stated by the organisation concerned.
|Organisation or Public body||Significant issues in relation to this body||Core position on these issues held by AngloGold Ashanti|
|United Nations Global Compact (UNGC)||Implementation of the 10 principles of the UNGC through AngloGold Ashanti’s business principles.||Business decisions are informed by our values, which are aligned with the 10 principles of the UNGC. We report annually to the UNGC on our compliance with the 10 principles in a Communication on Progress.|
|International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)||Defining the mining and metals industry’s commitment to the responsible production of the minerals and metals sociiety needs. We support the ICMM’s effort to define a leadership position for this commitment to responsible production. This includes areas of health, safety, environment and community, materials stewardship, and the social and economic contribution of mining to society. These issues are all material to AngloGold Ashanti.||We have committed to implementing the ICMM Metals (ICMM) Sustainable Development Framework, which comprises threee elements - a set of 10 principles (including a set of supporting position statements, public reporting and independent assurance each approved by its CEO-led council. Our performance on each of the 10 principles of the ICMM is contained in this report.|
|Responsible Jewellery Council||Developing and refining a chain of confidence system for gold and diamond jewellery.||We are committed to responsible mining, refining and marketing of gold at all of our operations. Mining members of the RJC are required to be independently certified to its Code of Practices by December 2012. Currently, the following AngloGold Ashanti operations are included in the RJC program CC&V (USA), AGA Mineração (Brazil) and Sunrise Dam (Australia). These operations continue to work towards the December 2012 deadline. AngloGold Ashanti is committed to working towards the certification of all it operations.|
|Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)||Defining and implementing global standards for non-financial reporting.||We are committed to reporting on an A+ basis against the GRI and to delivering non-financial reporting which is accurate, representative and accessible to stakeholders. AngloGold Ashanti is an organisational stakeholder of the GRI.|
|International Cyanide Management Code for the Manufacture, Transport and Use of Cyanide in the Production of Gold (the Cyanide Code)||Promoting the responsible management of cyanide, ensuring that human health is protected and reducing the potential for environmental impacts.||We are committed to ensuring that all of our operations are certified against the Cyanide Code.|
|Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)||Ensuring transparency in payments made to government.||We are committed to transparent and accurate public reporting on all payments we make to the governments of the countries in which we do business. We disclose all payments to governments, irrespective of whether the government concerned is a member of the EITI.|
|Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (Voluntary Principles)||Defining guidance for extractive companies on maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that ensures respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.||We are committed to implementing the Voluntary Principles’ approach to security management. We report annually on our progress in implementing the Voluntary Principles and disclose these reports publicly on our website.|
The information below provides disclosure under the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicator
SO6: Total value of financial and in-kind contributions to political parties, politicians and related institutions by country.
Political party donations
In South Africa, an amount of approximately US$18,000 was paid to the African National Congress Youth League. Its purpose was to enable AngloGold Ashanti personnel to attend the League's conference where the question of mines nationalisation was being discussed. It was not intended as a donation. The amount is however declared as it was, in effect, a financial contribution to a political organisation. No other political party donations were made.
SO7: Total number of legal actions for anti-competitive behaviour, anti-trust and monopoly practices, and their outcomes.
No legal actions regarding anti-competitive behaviour occurred during 2011.
SO8: Monetary value of significant fines and total number of non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with laws and regulations.
The head of AngloGold Ashanti’s legal department is responsible for ensuring that significant legal issues considered as part of the risk management process are brought to the attention of the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee, which is responsible for risk management. A register of litigation matters to which the company has a possible financial exposure is maintained and reviewed on a quarterly basis.
A significant legal issue is defined as one that could result in a potential liability to the company and an issue with a potentially negative consequence for the company’s reputation, as assessed by the company executive. Significant legal liabilities have been defined as those with an impact on the following thresholds:
- If the matter is considered to be REMOTE then threshold amount is US$5 million.
- If the matter is considered to be POSSIBLE then the threshold amount is US$750 000.
- If the matter is considered to be PROBABLE then the threshold amount is US$750 000.
In 2011 there were no legal issues settled above these thresholds.
In 2011, no administrative fines were issued. A total of 46 instructions were received in terms of the Act, to close sections of mining operations to various degrees (this includes the four instructions issued to Tau Lekoa mine). Not all of these followed fatal accidents and in some cases the Section 54 notices were issued following routine inspections or serious accidents. In total, 59 full shifts at our various South African operations were lost as a result of the imposition of these instructions (2010: 77). In response to each instruction, an investigation was undertaken and remedial actions proposed and implemented.