Employee, community and asset security

Removing people from risk and risk from people

The threats faced across our operational footprint remain complex with escalated risk evident in most jurisdictions. This is the result of growing political instability, poverty, terrorism and the rise of ASM, both legal and illegal. Our operations, employees and communities are affected adversely as a result of the rise in general criminality and armed conflict.

In 2019, the safety and security of our employees and contractors remained our first priority as we implemented our sustainability and security strategies across the group. Our focus was on collaboration and strengthening partnerships with various stakeholders such as governments, business partners, communities and law enforcement agencies, as well as the deployment of fit-for-purpose technology.

Specific measures are implemented to deal with various challenges across the business landscape, most notably reducing injuries to people, through the application of threat and risk management principles. Integral to the security strategy is the security five-point plan, which aims to remove people from risk and risk from people.

Illegal and ASM mining activities continued to pose a significant challenge to our operations throughout 2019 in South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Mali, Guinea and Colombia. In South Africa, gold producers continued to face an escalation in violent crime-related activities as a result of large armed criminal groups and illegal miners intruding into and invading mining areas. As a result, the South Africa Region Mines Crime Combatting Forum (MCCF) eightpillar initiative was launched to address general criminality resulting from the increase of illegal mining activities in the Vaal River area.

At Siguiri mine, artisanal and illegal mining activities in our concession remain a threat to the operation as small-scale miners demand access to inactive mining areas. In some instances during the year, large numbers of ASM workers simply entered restricted areas on the concession, including dormant mining areas, to extract gold. In those instances our security teams reverted to monitoring only in an effort to reduce the possibility of conflict, while authorities were requested to provide assistance. The number of artisanal and small-scale miners operating in the region continues to increase due to migration into the area by people fleeing drought and armed conflict in the greater Sahel region.

We provide a secure environment for our employees and assets and underpinning this is consistent, open dialogue with communities, national, regional and local government. Building trust and conducting meaningful engagement with all relevant stakeholders is key to achieving our objective of community-enhanced security, where all citizens share a peaceful environment free from conflict. The success of the community policing forum at Geita mine (see case study) has been effective in reducing security risk and will likely be extended to our other operations.

We act with integrity, promote transparency and good governance and work together with governments and communities to codesign sustainable solutions to mitigate security risk. We also work with public and private security in countries where we operate, with the latter including military assistance in certain jurisdictions. In those cases, any military contingent deployed on our site will be required to undergo thorough induction in the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). In all circumstances we will also make clear that we favour dialogue in resolving any disputes, and will always seek to de-escalate any confrontation to provide the space for peaceful resolution.

In all countries in which AngloGold Ashanti operates, threat and risk assessments are conducted to determine which security resources are required. In Colombia, Mali, Tanzania, Ghana and Guinea, risk assessments categorise threats as high and require the involvement of state police and/or military units (public security forces) on a near-permanent basis.

Our goal is to be proactive, constantly assessing the risks and, where we see potential threats, we develop and implement mitigating strategies to address these.

Theft and loss incidents

2% reduction

Indicator 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Fatalities and injuries to AngloGold Ashanti personnel in the line of duty
Fatalities and injuries to community members related to security interventions
Injuries 4940323634

Prioritised SDGs

  • 16.1. Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere.

  • 16.3. Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

  • 16.5. Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms.

  • 16.6. Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels.

  • 17.16. Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilise and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries.

  • 17.17. Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships.