Sustainability Report <SR> 2020

Integrated closure

“Planning for closure requires a multi-focused approach, which considers social, economic, environmental and governance issues.”


Our approach to integrated closure management seeks to ensure that our activities minimise adverse impacts on people, the environment and broader society. Our Closure Planning Standard was established to set a consistent benchmark across all our operations and ensure multi-disciplinary identification and management of current and future closure risks and liabilities in a manner that adds value.

Planning for closure requires a multi-focused approach, which takes into account related social, economic, environmental and governance issues. The social impact of closure is perhaps the least understood and potentially the most difficult element to gauge and manage effectively. AngloGold Ashanti recognises the importance of fostering and contributing to resilient and self-sustaining communities over the entire lifecycle of mining operations.

Economic considerations are integral to integrated closure planning, exploring and capitalising on economic succession planning throughout the entire mining lifecycle – from design, through operations and beyond closure.

From an environmental point of view, we continue to ensure that all our operations have closure plans that comply with all applicable laws, regulations and requirements. In line with contributing towards the SDG 15, we continue to conduct environmental assessments and ensure investment in post-closure rehabilitation both for purposes of land restoration and biodiversity enhancement. During 2020, Geita mine’s Closure Plan was approved by the National Mine Closure Committee with a condition for the Geological Survey of Tanzania and the State Mining Corporation to carry out feasibility studies for processing the old TSF. The geochemical, geotechnical and hydrogeological risk assessments of the old TSF, which predates the current Geita mine, were initiated. Before the South Africa assets were sold to Harmony, the closure plans were updated and consolidated with the objective of aligning them with the Financial Provisioning Regulations 2015, published under National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), for submission in June 2021.

Planning at the early stages

Our greenfields projects take into account closure considerations and the related costs of feasibility reports. For brownfields exploration, incremental closure activities and associated costs arising from any project are documented, using the operation’s existing closure plan as a baseline and as a source of relevant rates. We are also establishing an integrated business planning process that seeks to better integrated ESG matters into mine planning and execution. The process will establish stage gates, incorporate trigger points and enable a multi-disciplinary decision making. During 2020, our Quebradona project in Colombia presented the future mine’s progressive closure plan to the National Licensing Agency, as contained in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This included the Biodynamic Park designs for the observatory, mist trapper and nursery.

Land use and rehabilitation

We understand that our use of mining land is temporary, and it is our responsibility to ensure that land disturbed during our activities may be safely restored and protected, with minimal impact, beyond our mining activities. We continue to implement rehabilitation measures where we have disturbed land and where portions of our tenements will not be mined, we seek to free up those portions of land for alternative use.

With the re-establishment of our Obuasi mine in Ghana, the Closure Consultative Committee (CCC) which comprises AngloGold Ashanti, the Minerals Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Local Assembly and Traditional Authorities was established. The Committee serves as an advisory body providing strategic guidance and tracking of rehabilitation and closure work.

During 2020, the CCC had oversight of the completion of rehabilitation work at the Eaton Turner Shaft and Tailings Treatment Plant area which covers an area of about 40 hectares. The project was initiated in June 2019 and was completed in August 2020. The EPA confirmed in September 2020 that land use completion, as specified in the mine’s Reclamation Security Agreement (RSA), had been attained.

Geita made good progress with implementing its 2020 rehabilitation plan, with 184 hectares of land reprofiled and revegetation started.

Addressing the social and economic aspect

Central to our values is to ensure that, after closure, we leave communities better off. This is in acknowledgement of AngloGold Ashanti’s lasting legacy in these communities and how this is woven into the fabric of the local society. We seek to be part of the development of resilient communities able to respond, adapt and thrive despite significant challenges, including mine closure. Most operations are the primary source of community livelihoods and contribute to strengthening the supply chain, which is an important social and economic element of creating alternative livelihoods. Given the complexity of the social aspect of closure, we continue to explore this aspect as we take a broader view of our socio-economic development initiatives. See Our enduring legacy in South Africa and Contributing to resilient, self-sustaining communities for more information.

Our Performance

Total amount of land disturbed and not yet rehabilitated
Total amount of land rehabilitated
Land Disturbed / Rehabilitated
LocationTotal land disturbed and not yet rehabilitated opening balanceTotal amount of land newly disturbed within the reporting year Total amount of land newly rehabilitated within the reporting period to agreed upon end useTotal amount of land rehabilitated to dateTotal amount of land disturbed and not yet rehabilitated closing balance Total land managed
Sadiola 2,008  - 80 432 1,928 30,260
Obuasi 1,691 27 33 241 1,685 20,146
Iduapriem 1,536 34 35 266 1,535 13,922
Siguiri 1,436 9 34 532 1,411 159,233
Geita 2,724 15 50 703 2,689 19,627
Sunrise Dam 1,453 144  - 716 1,597 15,881
Tropicana 3,108 98  - 334 3,206 105,800
AGA Brazil (Mineracao) 487 21 59 535 449 20,863
Serra Grande 651 14 4 108 661 2,608
Cerro Vanguardia 1,766 68  - 45 1,833 54,000
West Wits (Input) 1,310  - 9 305 1,301 3,744
Mine Waste Solutions 3,329 11  - 16 3,340 7,182
Vaal River (Input) 4,244 2  - 1,010 4,246 8,245
Total AGA 25,743 442 304 5,243 25,881 461,511
Number of company operations that have closure plans16All AngloGold Ashanti-managed operations have a closure plan in place. Details of closure-related liabilities are presented in the annual Integrated Report and financial provisions for closure are given in the Annual Financial Statements.
Percentage of company operations that have closure plans100%100% of AngloGold Ashanti operations have a closure plan in place. Details of closure liabilities are given in the Integrated annual report and financial provisions for closure are given in the Annual Financial Statements.
Rehabilitation liabilities per operation ($ million)
Great Noligwa00033.4
Legacy projects    
- Vaal River0003
- West Wits0002.8
- Other0000.2
First Uranium SA00032.2
Sunrise Dam33.819.453.245.4
Cerro Vanguardia66.62288.677.3
AGA Mineração38.97.746.662
Serra Grande13.33.316.620.3
United States of America    
La Colosa6066.6
Less equity accounted investments included above(3)(3.1)(20.6)(23.7)(54)
Less liabilities held for sale included above(6)000(96.4)
  1. (1) Includes Savuka.
  2. (2) Includes Mpasatia (Bibiani pit).
  3. (3) The equity-accounted investments includes Yatela and Kibali (2019: includes Mali assets, Kibali and Gramalote).
  4. (4) Morila and Sadiola were sold during the year.
  5. (5) Gramalote became a Joint Operation during the year.
  6. (6) Includes the liabilities held for sale of Mponeng, Great Noligwa, Tau Tona, VR and WW legacy projects and First Uranium.
Number of sites that have been assessed as requiring a BMP16AngloGold Ashanti adopted a Biodiversity Management Standard in 2014. It requires all active AGA-managed operations or major projects to undertake biodiversity risk assessments and where necessary, implement a Biodiversity Action Plan. By the end of 2020, not all the AGA-managed operations or major projects had completed the required biodiversity risk assessments. (Note that Activities were suspended at La Colosa due to a Force Majeure).
Number of sites in need of a BMP that have a BMP in place and operational14
Total number of IUCN Red List species and national conservation list species Endangered Category:
IUCN: One species of mammal at AGA Mineração (Brazil).
National: One species of plant and one species of fish at AGA Mineração Brazil.
  Vulnerable Category:
IUCN: Six species of tree at Obuasi; one species of bird and two species of fish at AGA Mineração (Brazil); 2 species of tree, one species of plant and one species of insect at Geita (Tanzania).
National: One species of plant in South Africa. Two species of plant, two species of mammal and one species of fish at AGA Mineração (Brazil).
 Near Threatened Category:
IUCN: Two species of mammal at Cerro Vanguardia; two species of bird and two species of mammals at AGA Mineração Brazil; and one species of plant in South Africa.
National: Two species of plants in South Africa.
Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas
Country and operation 
Iduapriem The Neung North Forest Reserve is located immediately adjacent to the southern boundary of the Iduapriem operational area. Iduapriem mine’s concession is 13,922 ha, part of which lies adjacent to the forest reserve. 5.2 ha of the mine’s authorized exploration lies within the reserve.
Geita The operation’s special mining license (SML) is 19,627 ha of which 15,100 ha lies within the Geita forest reserve. The Geita forest reserve has undergone significant deforestation mostly from unauthorised activities such as timber and charcoal making and illegal mining activities, which are not related to AngloGold Ashanti operations.
AGA Mineração RPPN AngloGold Cuiaba, a private natural heritage reserve, is owned and managed by AngloGold Ashanti. The area under management of Cuiaba Mine is 3,885 ha, of which the RPPN comprises 726 ha. The RPPN falls in the Atlantic Forest biome and is listed in national legislation.
  RPPN Mata Samuel de Paula, a private natural heritage reserve, is owned and managed by AngloGold Ashanti. The total area under management at Queiroz is 6,449 ha, of which the RPPN comprises 146 ha. The RPPN falls in the Atlantic Forest biome and is listed in national legislation.
  The Córrego do Sítio mine has an area of 3,039 ha, of which the RPPN comprises 508 ha. It is 1km from the Caraça National Reserve. The reserve falls in the Atlantic Forest biome and is listed in national legislation.
Serra Grande Serra Grande lies within the Cerrado biome. The mines footprint is 2,608 ha, of this area, 271.81 ha are declared protected areas (Legal Reserves) of the Cerrado biome and are adjacent to the mining activities, but within a 5km radius.