Managing the COVID-19 pandemic
Focus on people, safety and sustainability
Protecting employees and communities is a top priority, and especially so during a global pandemic. We provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitisers, medical care and facilities, and implemented communication and awareness campaigns on prevention, among other things.
See The year of COVID-19 impact reponse and management and the <SR> for more information on the impact of the pandemic on our employees, operations and communities, and how this has been managed.
Human capital: The pandemic presented a threat to the health and safety of employees. A total of 2,261 employees contracted COVID-19 as of end of March 2021. Most were asymptomatic, and the recovery rate is 94.4%.
Financial capital: Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have invested $6m in combatting it and protecting employees and communities.
Manufactured capital: production was impacted with enforced operational shut downs in a number of countries; as estimated 140,000oz of production were lost and its impact on all-in sustaining cost is estimated at $55/oz for the year
Social and relationship capital: In managing the pandemic and its consequences, we collaborated with stakeholders at all levels. This resulted in improved relationships and close collaboration in preventing infection and responding to the public health and economic aspects of the pandemic
Human capital: employees received full salaries and benefits, even those unable to work during lockdowns and mine closures. Demonstrations of good faith enhanced the quality of relationship with employees
Rationalisation of portfolio/asset sales
Improve portfolio quality
The latest review to streamline our portfolio of assets started in 2018 and resulted in the sales of our remaining South Africa assets, and Morila and Sadiola in Mali. The review aimed to sharpen focus on higher-margin, longer life operations and projects that delivered higher returns than those available in the assets sold.
Natural capital: Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve reductions of 53.9Moz and 16.8Moz respectively, related to the assets sold; with respect to GHG emissions intensity, the South African asset sales are expected to reduce our impact in 2021, from 2019 levels
Manufactured capital: Fewer operations in our portfolio has decreased
Financial capital: The asset sales in 2020 generated $239m in total, most of which was used to reduce debt. The South African asset sale also contributed to reduced environmental and other liabilities totalling close to $198m as well as a reduced wage bill
Manufactured capital: The quality of the remaining assets overall is enhanced
Natural capital: In 2020, on the back of our aggressive exploration programme, we recorded a 45% increase in the average grade of our Ore Reserve in our remaining portfolio
Focused initiative to develop and convert Ore Reserve
Improve portfolio quality
Optimising our mining portfolio and focusing our management attention and capital on longer-life, higher-return assets, was a particular focus once asset sales were completed. A three-year Ore Reserve development and conversion programme started in early 2020. Replenishing the Ore Reserve pipeline is critical to the long-term sustainability and success of our business. The programme is intended to enhance mining flexibility and extend operating mine lives. In terms of capital allocation, this is expected to be a low-risk, high-return investment. Related work is underway at Geita, Siguiri, Iduapriem, Obuasi, AGA Mineração, Serra Grande, Cerro Vanguardia, Tropicana and Sunrise Dam.
Financial capital: Sustaining capital expenditure totaled $532m, while growth capital was $260m
Natural capital: In 2020, the Ore Reserve increased by 6.1Moz on a gross basis, and 2.7Moz on a net basis, once depletion was taken into account
Progressing Colombian projects
Maintain long-term optionality
Greenfields exploration in Colombia has led to three new ore discoveries. Two of those – Quebradona and Gramalote – are at an advanced stage, with final feasibility study results expected in 2021, after which the board will make an investment decision in each case.
These are high-quality projects that, if approved, would improve the average cost and reserve life of AngloGold Ashanti’s overall portfolio.
Quebradona, a copper-gold project, also brings commodity diversification to the portfolio. Copper is essential in renewable energy and electric vehicle technologies, which are increasingly sought after as demand for materials that facilitate decarbonisation and reduced emissions grows.
See Planning for the future – projects, exploration and innovation for details
Financial capital: $77m invested in 2020 to advance Gramalote and Quebradona $77m invested in 2020 to advance Gramalote and Quebradona
Natural capital: Impact on the environment, including water and land, with detailed mitigation plans in place, including large-scale reforestation, restoration of indigenous ecosystems, and the development of an ecopark at the Quebradona site.
Natural capital: Potentially adding to our Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve
Social and relationship capital: At Quebradona, work continued on the integration of social, environmental and economic imperatives into the project and subsequent mining operations – in line with promoting the ‘#Miningwithpurpose’ campaign. Local stakeholder support from the Jericó community has been stable with the most recent survey conducted indicating that a significant majority of residents support the project. In December 2020, the Gramalote project received the “Sello Social de La Minería en Antioquia” in recognition of Gramalote’s commitment to community support. The award is presented by the Ministry of Mines of Antioquia to large-scale operations.
Manufactured capital: If approved
Human capital: If approved
Maintain long-term optionality
The Obuasi Redevelopment Project has an estimated Mineral Resource of 29.5Moz. The project is in the process of ramping up to a steady state production rate of 4,000t a day, expected in the second half of 2021. At full production, Obuasi will contribute between 350,000oz and 400,000oz annually during its first 10 years of production, at an estimated all-in sustaining cost of around $825/oz, in 2018 money terms. This is an improvement on the company’s average costs and falls in the lower half of the industry cost curve. Obuasi has an estimated mine-life of more than 20 years, with production increasing and costs improving in the second decade of production as higher grade areas are mined.
See Regional review – Africa for details
Financial capital: $455m invested to date in the redevelopment of the Obuasi mine.
Natural capital: Obuasi’s Ore Reserve increased markedly during 2020 as confidence in the orebody was enhanced owing to the detailed mine planning process. AngloGold Ashanti has relinquished about 60.53km² of land to the government of Ghana, for use by local communities in line with government initiatives. A comprehensive programme is in place to rehabilitate areas of the mine site and address legacy issues.
Human capital: Providing employment with priority given to locals and Ghanaian nations. Skills transfer programmes are in place to create skills in areas of scarcity.
Manufactured capital: Adding to our mining infrastructure, plant and equipment.
Social and relationship capital: Through the Obuasi redevelopment, we have created local procurement opportunities, partnered with local companies, invested in socio-economic development programme, and fostered positive relationship with government and regulators.