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Our sustainability journey

A rehabilitation crew with acacia tree seeds for use in the rehabilitation programme at Yatela mine, Mali. These seeds take quickly and are very hardy, adding to the stability of a rehabilitated area
A rehabilitation crew with acacia tree seeds for use in the rehabilitation programme at Yatela mine, Mali. These seeds take quickly and are very hardy, adding to the stability of a rehabilitated area
Relevance to AngloGold Ashanti Initiatives undertaken by AngloGold Ashanti in 2011 Where to find out more in this report
Resource nationalism
  • Increased competition for access to scarce mineral resources
  • Increased pressure to demonstrate tangible economic benefits for communities
  • A trend towards higher government payments in the form of royalties and taxes
  • Design of a group-wide framework to address sustainable development issues in a more systemic way
  • Various ongoing development and community investment initiatives, in partnership with communities and governments
  • Development of more consistent engagement strategies to support implementation of the sustainable development framework and demonstrate the benefits of responsible mining

CEO discussion

Creating sustainable economic benefits

Community relations

Environmental and natural resource management

In the country focus on Guinea and the country focus on South Africa page

Yedwa Simelane


Constructive engagement between governments, business and civil society, and collaboration across industries will help us to collectively find innovative solutions and appropriate regulatory frameworks to address the Resource Nationalism challenge. The mining industry has a big task in demonstrating the benefits it brings to society.

Mrs Yedwa Simelane, Senior Vice President: Corporate Affairs, AngloGold Ashanti

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From our stakeholders

If mining is to help drive development, it has to cast off its enclave status and forge far more linkages with the economies and people that surround it... The needs of communities need to be better integrated into corporate social responsibility schemes and small-scale and artisanal miners need to be encouraged to grow in partnership with large-scale mining operations.

Mr Abdoulie Janneh and Dr Jean Ping

respectively, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and Chairman of the African Union Commission, in their introduction to the African Mining Vision, February 2009

Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)
  • An increase in the number of people involved in ASM as higher gold prices and tougher economic conditions create a greater economic incentive for ASM and for international networks funding this activity
  • The environmental, social, safety and health impacts of ASM, which impact negatively on the reputation of the industry
  • Public reports, including from the United Nations, linking ASM to the funding of conflict in the DRC
  • Support for initiatives to formalise ASM in a way which will benefit local economies and create sustainable livelihoods
  • Increased co-operation with host governments to address the root causes of illegal mining
  • Extensive baseline analysis in the DRC and in Tanzania on ASM issues, including on-site discussions with affected parties at each location, with concrete plans to improve conditions in each location. We also reviewed the potential impacts of the Dodd-Frank Act on our operations and projects
  • Active engagement with industry bodies and multilateral organisations to create opportunities for developing leading solutions to ASM
  • Pro-active participation in standard setting on ‘responsible gold’

Artisanal and small-scale mining

Responsible gold

Ms Karen Hayes


When large-scale mining (LSM) operations move in to do their exploration, they will often follow the traces and tracks of where artisanal miners have been. When the LSM find a concession they are hoping to work on, they have hundreds of thousands of artisanal miners already there, who feel entitled to those minerals and feel they have a claim to those minerals. The negotiation involved in coming to some sort of a peaceful solution for that site is extremely important.

Ms Karen Hayes, Technical director, Mines to markets initiative, Pact

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From our stakeholders

Many artisanal miners who once dug for tin, tungsten or tantalum ores are reported to have switched to gold.

United Nations Panel of Experts, report on the DRC, December 2011

Criminal activity, including illegal mining and theft
  • An increase in the number of illegal miners and their level of organisation
  • An increase in the number and severity of security incidents at AngloGold Ashanti operations
  • An increase in injuries to AngloGold Ashanti security personnel and community members as a result of security incidents
  • Development of a security management approach that targets more effective protection of assets and product through community-enhanced security strategies
  • Deepening adherence to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR), including through a third party audit of VPSHR compliance

Security strategy

Artisanal and small-scale mining

Community relations

Operating with respect for human rights
  • Adoption of the guiding principles on business and human rights by the United Nations (UN) in June 2011
  • The need to align our policies and practice with the UN guiding principles
  • Gap analysis of existing policies and systems against the guidelines as part of the project to develop a human rights policy, framework and procedures
  • Participation in an International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM)-driven pilot project to develop and establish grievance mechanisms in co-operation with community members in Mongbwalu in the DRC
Operating with respect for human rights
Mr Sipho Pityana


We seek to enhance the welfare, dignity and interests of our stakeholders including workers, shareholders and communities as a consequence of our business operations, providing socio-economic benefits that are sustainable.

Mr Sipho Pityana, Non-Executive Director, AngloGold Ashanti

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Safety and health
  • Continuing external and internal focus on improving the safety and health performance of operations
  • Safety and health are not only business imperatives, but are part of our obligation to operate with respect for human rights
  • Further development of the safety transformation framework, including 22 governing standards
  • Incident investigation protocol developed and deployed
  • Incident management and tracking system developed, global pilot in progress
Safety and health
Mr Michael Parker


The business and leadership at all levels of the organisation are relentlessly committed to the safety and health of our employees. We strive for zero injuries and incidents each day, every day, everywhere we operate in the world.

Mr Michael Parker, Senior Vice President: Safety and Environment, AngloGold Ashanti

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From our stakeholders

Safety is the responsibility of each and every person who sets his or her foot in the precinct of the mines. This summit has given us an opportunity to put a stop – once and for all – to the practice where workers blame management, management blames the regulator... and where, in the end, instead of something being done, it is workers who continue to lose their lives.

From the keynote address by Ms Susan Shabangu, Minister of Mineral Resources of South Africa, at the Mine Health and Safety Council Summit, South Africa, November 2011

Environmental and natural resource management
  • Water quality and usage are areas of stakeholder focus globally. They are particularly significant for operations in Ghana and South Africa and exploration projects in Colombia
  • The imperative to use natural resources sparingly, including inputs into mining such as energy and water
  • National governments are developing increasingly robust responses to climate change through the imposition of stricter emissions limits and carbon pricing mechanisms, especially in Australia and South Africa
  • Ecosystem services, especially biodiversity services, are coming under the spotlight in many countries
  • We continued to target improvements in environmental performance, focusing on compliance with group-wide environmental standards
  • In Ghana, significant progress was made in addressing water management challenges highlighted by The Public Eye Award
  • At the request of the South African government, AngloGold Ashanti provided significant input into the development of climate change and greenhouse gas mitigation policy
  • The company’s draft biodiversity management standard progressed during 2011 and is expected to be approved in the first half of 2012

Environmental and natural resource management

Regional snapshots on South Africa and Continental Africa

Country focus – Colombia

Securing our skills pipeline
  • Increasing evidence of a skills shortage in key disciplines for the mining industry
  • We have continued to build our talent pipeline while keeping turnover in key roles below 5%
  • We remain focused on building our internal capability through the implementation of our people management system and increased employee engagement
  • We are building a talent acquisition and talent management strategy to improve planning, attract the right candidates and retain people
Securing our skills pipeline
Responsible gold
  • Emergence of the ‘responsible gold’ debate as an issue of public and consumer concern
  • Initiatives to define responsible gold and conflict-free standards
  • Increased requirements for supply chain transparency in respect of product sourced from the DRC and neighbouring countries, with the passing in the USA of the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010
  • Proactive participation in and commitment of funding and resources to standard-setting initiatives and public policy debate
  • Extensive engagement with governments of Tanzania, the DRC, South Africa and the USA on the rules and regulations to be issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Dodd-Frank Act, to ensure that they address the core objectives of the legislation without stigmatising gold produced responsibly in the region
Responsible gold
Mr Terry Heymann


Responsibly undertaken, mining and related activities can and should play a crucial role in achieving sustainable development and alleviating poverty in developing countries. Conformance with the World Gold Council Conflict-Free Gold Standard provides further confidence that professional gold mining can be an agent for social and economic development at both a national and community level.

Mr Terry Heymann, Director: Responsible Gold, World Gold Council

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From our stakeholders

All of these rules [referring to the forthcoming SEC rules for Dodd-Frank] have great potential to yield important disclosure and potential for changes in the practices of mining companies and companies in the gold business. These changes could improve conditions for communities, workers, and the environment where mining is planned or happening.

Mr Scott Cardiff, Earthworks ‘No Dirty Gold’ campaign from