Scope and boundary of report
This Integrated Report 2014 is the primary report in our suite of reports for the financial year 2014. This report provides a concise overview of the performance of AngloGold Ashanti Limited (AngloGold Ashanti) – both financial and non-financial – in terms of our strategic objectives. It also explains the interdependence of the financial and non-financial aspects of our business.
While the 2014 suite of reports covers the period from 1 January to 31 December 2014, also noted are material events that have occurred subsequent to the year end and up to the reports’ approval by the board on 19 March 2015.
To facilitate communication with its stakeholders, AngloGold Ashanti has this dedicated annual reporting website which hosts online versions of the integrated and sustainable development reports as well as PDFs of the full suite of reports. In compliance with stock exchange requirements and legislation, the Notice of Meeting has been posted to shareholders.
COMPILATION OF THIS INTEGRATED REPORT
In compiling this report, we have been guided by the International Integrated Reporting Committee’s framework on integrated reporting. The related principles, concepts and content elements have been adapted to meet our specific operating and business circumstances. This report depicts an holistic account of our business – both the financial and non-financial objectives and our performance against them – and describes our vision for the future. We have identified and engaged a diverse range of stakeholders during the year and their inputs have shaped the content of this report.
We have also taken account of those issues that are considered most important to the group’s future sustainability. These issues were identified by means of a combined assurance process and by taking into account the views expressed by our stakeholders. Underpinning this report is a discussion of risks and material issues. For a detailed discussion of AngloGold Ashanti’s material sustainability issues during the reporting period, please refer to Material issues SDR.
AngloGold Ashanti is committed to the progressive implementation of integrated reporting at all levels of our business. Under the guidance of the Audit and Risk Committee, a combined assurance model was adopted by AngloGold Ashanti to provide a co-ordinated approach to all assurance activities and to facilitate group-wide integration by leveraging the various controls, governance and assurance processes. Although normally part of the process, during 2014, technical assurances were excluded from the coordinated combined assurance reviews.
All operations within AngloGold Ashanti were subjected to risk-based, integrated, combined assurance reviews focusing on commercial, safety and sustainability aspects of the business. The outcome of these reviews, as well as the independent technical reviews conducted, provided reasonable assurance to allow the board, on the recommendation of the Audit and Risk Committee, to determine the effectiveness of the group’s system of internal controls. This report has also been produced in line with the recommendations of the King Report on Governance for South Africa 2009 (King III) and the Listings Requirements of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the base of our primary listing.
BOUNDARY OF REPORT
This report depicts an holistic account of our business and describes our vision for the future.
This Integrated Report 2014 (IR) covers our global operations and while we have a diverse range of stakeholders, each with their own specific information requirements, this report is aimed primarily at investors and the providers of capital. Stakeholders are referred to other reports in this suite and the Sustainable Development Report (SDR), in particular, for additional non-financial information. In addition, individual business profiles reviewing our performance at an operational level are available in the OPS section.
The content of this integrated report is based on our overarching strategy, the primary aim of which is to create value by generating sustainable free cash flow improvements and returns. It describes what we have done to create value and achieve our stated strategic objectives in the past year, what we have used to do this, what impact we have had in so doing, the risks we have faced, what circumstances have affected our ability to generate value and how well we have performed towards our goal of creating value.
Our Annual Financial Statements 2014 (AFS) are prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and our Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Report 2014 (R&R) information is in line with the SAMREC and JORC codes. As this is a group-level report, operational targets and performance are discussed at a regional rather than operational level, although some operational detail is provided where appropriate. Detailed information, including maps of our exploration activities with respect to both our greenfields and brownfields studies, is available on the AngloGold Ashanti website, www.anglogoldashanti.com.
Our reports cover all operations and entities in which the group has a controlling interest and which are under our management. We do not report on non-financial information for our Morila and Kibali operations, which are managed and operated by our joint venture partner Randgold Resources Limited.
Information relating to joint ventures and other interests is provided for context and where this is deemed to be material. Production and capital expenditure are expressed on an attributable basis, unless otherwise indicated. Employee data, average workforce data, including employees and contractors, are reported for AngloGold Ashanti with joint ventures being reported on an attributable basis. Although the employee and workforce data reported includes both our employees and contractors, AngloGold Ashanti does not directly employ a contractor workforce.
CORPORATE CHANGES DURING 2014
In response to the sharp drop in gold prices in 2013, AngloGold Ashanti underwent significant restructuring to address its cost base. In 2014 we continued to evaluate options to reduce costs and improve margins, with a view to addressing overall debt levels, by employing a range of interventions including continued rigorous focus on costs and the active management of the portfolio to improve its overall quality. This portfolio management led to a number of key operational decisions, including initiation of the process to close the Yatela mine in Mali; the sale of the Navachab mine in Namibia after it was deemed non-core; progression of the life-extending projects at Mponeng Phase 1 and at Cripple Creek & Victor; and the transition of the Obuasi mine in Ghana to limited operations mode, a decision which resulted in the retrenchment of the workforce and the cessation of underground mining while a feasibility study on a mechanised mine is being completed. Cost management activities necessitated retrenchments contributing to the 13% decline in the average number of our workforce during the year.
EVENTS SUBSEQUENT TO YEAR END
Post year end, AngloGold Ashanti announced that plans were underway to consider a joint venture or sale for value of the Cripple Creek & Victor mine in the United States and to consider the sale for value of its interests in the Sadiola and Yatela mines in Mali. For further details, see the CFO’s report IR.
APPROVALS AND ASSURANCE
Following the recommendation of the Audit Committee, AngloGold Ashanti’s suite of 2014 reports for the year ended 31 December 2014, including the AFS, were reviewed and approved by the board of directors on 19 March 2015.
In accordance with the Companies Act No. 71 of 2008, as amended, the Annual Financial Statements 2014 were audited by the company’s independent external auditors, Ernst & Young Inc., whose unqualified audit opinion may be found in the AFS. Certain sustainability information in our reports has been assured by Ernst & Young Inc., whose combined reasonable and limited assurance statement may be found in the SDR.