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Our strategy and strategic objectives –
Embrace sustainability principles

LONG-TERM VALUE CREATION IS DEPENDENT ON THE QUALITY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS AND OUR ABILITY TO CREATE MUTUAL VALUE WITH BUSINESS AND SOCIAL PARTNERS.

How we are implementing this strategy

This core strategy not only reflects our values-based approach, but also recognises that sustainability performance is key to ensuring that the company can secure and maintain its social licence to operate.

AngloGold Ashanti’s operations are managed as four regions across a diverse range of jurisdictions. Each region manages a unique set of sustainability priorities, issues and risks reflecting the local context, the operation and key business objectives.

A global sustainable development framework is currently being developed which reflects the need for an integrated approach, recognising the linkages that exist between the various areas of sustainability management and the need for cross learning throughout the group. A key deliverable in terms of this framework will be the implementation of more consistent strategies for managing community relationships across AngloGold Ashanti’s operations.

AngloGold Ashanti reports annually on sustainability performance. More detail on the issues and strategies in this area is available in our Sustainability Report 2011Sustainability Report.

Strategy in practice: Incorporating sustainability principles through the project life cycle

AngloGold Ashanti considers a range of sustainability principles at each stage of the project life cycle, from exploration to project development, through the operating life and ending in closure.

During 2011, steps were taken to strengthen the way sustainability principles are applied at the exploration phase of projects. The greenfield exploration business unit manages exploration across 17 countries, with projects in Australia, Colombia and the DRC at an advanced stage of development. We are in the process of enhancing capacity in the area of sustainability management, based on an understanding that:

  • greenfields exploration is a critical area of business growth;
  • exploration activities have the potential to affect local communities and the local environment both positively and negatively; and
  • the integration of sustainability principles into exploration programmes enables the company to mitigate project risk more effectively; avoid project delays, which frequently result from a lack of community support; and take advantage of opportunities to create world-class operations.

Processes for non-technical due diligence in respect of exploration projects were introduced during 2011 and these processes were piloted at AngloGold Ashanti’s joint venture in the Solomon Islands. A multi-disciplinary due diligence team, including specialist sustainability expertise drawn from the group, spent a week in the Solomon Islands evaluating the site work completed to date by the managing joint venture partner and using AngloGold Ashanti’s existing and emerging corporate sustainability standards as a framework. A series of recommendations were made as a result of the study, focusing on the reduction of current and future non-technical risks.

This due diligence exercise was the first step in a longer term programme of improving oversight of greenfields exploration programmes, which will enable AngloGold Ashanti to better identify key risks early in the life cycle of mining projects and to mitigate these risks more effectively.