Contributing to resilient, self-sustaining communities

Making a difference for common good

We operate in an environment where communities affected by our activities work with us on the basis that the relationship be mutually beneficial, and that our operations bring sustainable social and economic upliftment during and beyond the life of mine. A lack of direct economic opportunity, relative to the size of local populations, and compounded by low levels of trust and acceptance of the mining industry can lead to increased incidents of community opposition and conflicts with mining companies. This heightened risk represents a threat to any company’s social licence to operate and highlights that we need to achieve and maintain a successful sustainability strategy that builds resilient and self-sustaining communities.

Building relationships and partnerships

Meaningful engagement is key to building trust with communities and other stakeholders. We work to secure and maintain our social licence to operate by preserving relationships and establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with host communities, governments and other external stakeholders.

In 2019, we enhanced our collaborative efforts with different spheres of government, finding common ground where we jointly support host countries’ socio-economic development aspirations.

  • In Geita, a 2019-2020 memorandum of understanding on the mine’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan, a requirement of the mining code, has been signed.
  • In the lead-up to reopening of the Obuasi mine, relations with local communities and with various external stakeholders were strengthened by the development and approval of a detailed social management plan.
  • In South Africa, the new social and labour plan for the 2020- 2024 period was submitted to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for approval following consultation.
  • In Brazil, as part of our CSR, we have developed a sustainable partnership programme that promotes local businesses (see case study).
  • In Guinea, working with the United States Agency for International Development, we signed a memorandum of understanding to fund a body called the Siguiri Agricultural Development Activity, which supports cashew nut projects by providing seedlings and capacity building for local farmers.

Mitigating current and legacy impacts

As a responsible miner, our approach to social impact management aims to ensure we identify and mitigate past, current and future impacts. All operations have in place grievance mechanisms to address complaints and grievances. These complaints and grievances are captured and managed on our Community Information Management System (CIMS) and resolved as expediently as possible. In 2019, complaints and grievances lodged across the group varied, though there were certain notable themes, namely demands for employment, illegal occupation of company-owned land (mainly in Brazil), and complaints related to structural damage from blasting activities in Geita and Iduapriem. In Guinea we recieved complaints related to demands for employment and compensation from land access processes.

At Geita mine, the remediation process for grievances relating to cracked houses in Katoma and Nyamalembo villages was concluded in the final quarter of 2019, in conjunction with the relevant authorities and communities.

At Siguiri, the ongoing arbitration regarding complaints from community members relating to the Area 1 resettlement in 2015 continued under the aegis of the International Finance Corporation’s Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO). The process continues to move forward, with agreements reached in four areas, and constitutes a good-faith effort to address concerns from the community.

In Brazil, the voluntary resettlement of the Santos Reis community adjacent to Serra Grande mine saw significant progress during the year with 32 families moved in 2019. This meant a total of 42 families out of 51 were settled in new homes.

At Iduapriem, we concluded the third phase of the Ajopa and Mankessim land-for-land compensation, covering 102 farmers.

Socio-economic development

Sustainable socio-economic development (SED) initiatives are vitally important if we are to contribute to self-sustaining communities. The ability to demonstrate the positive impacts from projects is important in obtaining and maintaining our social licence to operate. All operations have implemented social development programmes in line with their own development imperatives, including the profile and needs of host communities, the resources available for investment and the relevant regulatory requirements, among other things.

The SED initiatives implemented were intentionally slanted towards our key community investment focus areas, which include social infrastructure, health facilities and services, education, training and skills development, and small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) development. For 2019, the group community investment spend totalled $27.69 million as compared to US$22.25 million in 2018.

Notably in South Africa, support to SED initiatives, inclusive of alternative livelihoods, continued but yielded variable outcomes. The Masakhisane Enterprise Development Fund, which provides interest-free loans, continued to support local businesses in 2019. At Geita mine, the 2018-2019 CSR plan was instrumental in the refurbishment of schools and medical facilities in the Geita region. At Iduapriem, positive results have been achieved in the implementation of various agricultural projects through the AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Community Trust Fund.*

In Guinea at Siguiri, the 30km-long Siguiri-Kintinian road project was completed in partnership with the Guinean government at a cost of $10 million. AngloGold Ashanti contributed $5 million. The project involved tarring the national road, which improved road conditions, access to the town of Siguiri, and reduced dust levels. The project followed our localisation policy, hiring workers and procuring material and services locally.

AngloGold Ashanti Australia awarded a contract for ore rehandling and crusher feed at the Sunrise Dam gold mine to Aboriginal contractor Carey Mining Pty Ltd, continuing a business partnership that began more than 20 years ago. Carey Mining employs 57 people on the Sunrise Dam contract.

  • *The Trust was established to make a positive contribution to the development of communities in the vicinity of the Company’s mine at Iduapriem.

Local procurement

We continue to forge ahead with the implementation of our local procurement policy in all jurisdictions in which we operate, together with jurisdiction specific legislative requirements. An example being, Ghanaian legislation requires mining operations to comply with the Ghana Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations (L.I.2173) on local procurement.

At Geita we held a local business forum to provide information and increase communication and transparency around Geita Gold Mine’s sourcing practices, to better prepare Geita vendors to compete successfully for our business.

Strengthening systems and processes

The community affairs discipline is underpinned by robust frameworks, policies, standards, and reliable information management systems. Activity in this field during 2019 was enhanced by the review of previously approved community policy and management standards, and initiating the development of other supporting standards, including the non-governmental and civil society organisations management standard.

In 2019, we also launched phase 2 in the rollout of CIMS. The system will improve performance through the efficient recording of all information relating to the development, monitoring and reporting of social projects and management processes. Community incidents or events around our operations or as a result of our activities that led to, or may lead to, disruption in communities and/or AngloGold Ashanti’s operations, can be self-reported through CIMS. They can also be reported by third parties through the sites’ complaints and grievance mechanisms.

All community incidents are managed in line with AngloGold Ashanti’s Incident Management Standard. In 2019, 32 incidents were reported, a 23% increase from 2018. This upward trend started in 2016 and reflects the improved reporting systems across the group. Reported incidents were predominantly related to community disputes over ownership and access to mine dumps in South Africa and demands for tarred roads and local employment in Guinea.

Indicator 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Proportion of spending on local suppliers (%)
South Africa*7166686899
Total procurement spend ($ billion)
Centrally managed1.411.421.541.241.30
Regionally managed0.640.640.750.740.80
Community investment ($ million)
Group (less equity) 27.6922.2524.0520.1615.22
South Africa 3.995.195.974.606.29
South Africa Operations
Continental Africa17.958.129.027.566.01
Sadiola 0.400.270.330.440.19
Australia 0.700.740.680.550.34
Sunrise Dam & Tropicana 0.700.740.680.550.34
Cerro Vanguardia3.867.748.895.810.71
AGA Brazil (Mineracao)1.511.210.381.761.57
Serra Grande0.430.320.110.380.14
Colombia Greenfields
La Colosa
Cripple Creek & Victor
Denver Office0.
Less equity-accounted investments-1.13-1.21-1.46-1.56-1.57
Sites on or adjacent to indigenous territories with formal agreements with indigenous people
Sites where resettlements took place (Number)
Operations with significant actual and potential negative impacts on local communities (%)
Sites with local community engagement programmes (%)
Community incidents (Number)
  • * BEE expenditure includes all spend for suppliers with valid BEE certificates as at 01 January 2019. This also accounts for the spend on suppliers whose certificates expired during the course of the reporting period.
  • ** Data excludes the insignificant spend for Obuasi as the mine was not fully operational in year 2019

Prioritised SDGs

  • 1.2. By 2030, reduce by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.

  • 8.2. Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on highvalue added and labour-intensive sectors.

  • 9.2. Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries.

  • 10.1. By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average.

  • 11.4. Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

  • 17.1. Strengthen domestic resource mobilisation, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection.