The overall aim of our strategy is to generate sustainable, improved cash flows and returns over the longer term and, in so doing, to create and preserve value for all our stakeholders.
The five key strategic focus areas on which our strategy is based enable us to deliver on our overall strategy. They guide decision-making and are aimed at generating increased cash flows; extending mine lives; creating an organic pipeline of economically viable orebodies; and enhancing our social license to operate.
FIVE STRATEGIC ENABLERS
FIVE KEY STRATEGIC FOCUS AREAS
People, safety, health and sustainability
This strategic focus area ensures that our business strategy aligns with our values and corporate citizenship responsibilities, which includes being accountable for our actions and respecting all stakeholders and the environment. In support of this, ESG principles are integrated into all aspects of our business. Performance in relation to this strategic pillar accounts for 25% of Deferred Share Plan (DSP) remuneration awarded. See Rewarding delivery.
In terms of each aspect of this strategic focus area:
People are the foundation of our business – their skills, expertise, talents, training and development are vital to the efficient conduct of our business. A motivated, engaged workforce, within an efficient organisational structure, is thus crucial for improving productivity and innovation, efficiencies, and the successful execution of the overall strategy.
Implementation of the new Operating Model began in late 2021. This new model, along with the organisational model that supports it, is key to the efficient execution of the overall strategy. Both the model and the structure are aimed at improving effectiveness of the business by eliminating duplication, streamlining work processes, locating functional support roles at only two places in the business – at business units and corporate – and ensuring business units are adequately resourced to deliver on their plans. The restructuring required ahead of the implementing the new operating model and organisational structure unfortunately required the reduction in a number of roles across the business, and was undertaken with the clear understanding that we must continue to attract and retain key talent, develop skills and manage our talent effectively, in order for the business to thrive.
We will continue to actively invest in our people (human capital) and have in place a policy to promote diversity and inclusivity.
Safety and health
Allied to People is employee safety and health, which are paramount to our duty of care towards our employees and our responsibilities as a corporate citizen. Safety is our first value and we believe that in return for understanding and following our safety policies, standards and regulations, employees should return home safely at the end of each shift. To this end, a systematic and integrated safety strategy is embedded in our organisational structures, systems and processes and is fully supported by executive and senior management leadership teams.
Our health priorities include occupational health and, more recently, management of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. This has led to better integration of health risk management throughout the Company and the inclusion of occupational health in the overarching business strategy.
The sustainability focus encompasses our environmental and community (socio economic) responsibilities.
Mining, by its nature, impacts the environment. Our mining activities disturb land, consume water and energy, generate air emissions, and produce waste that must be safely and responsibly managed and disposed of. Air, water and energy management, climate change, the protection of biodiversity and land rehabilitation are key focus areas. Responsible environmental stewardship aims to enhance efficiencies in the use of natural resources, encourage responsible consumption, and minimise, mitigate and remediate environmental impacts. Environmental management is actively integrated into operational functions and formalised cross-functional collaboration structures are in place.
Our social conduct is critical to maintaining our social licence to operate. Building resilient, self-sustaining communities is in line with our ethics and values and with our aims to create and share value.
Creating economic opportunity helps to build trust and acceptance, leading to increased community collaboration and economic growth. While community demands and the complexity of social challenges faced may at times be felt more acutely at mining operations in emerging economies – where the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality are most visible – the concept of shared value is relevant across all operating jurisdictions.
We must ensure our balance sheet is sufficiently flexible to meet our core funding needs. This requires sufficient liquidity in the form of cash and available credit facilities and staggered tenor of debt maturities and leverage that sits well below our lending covenants. These attributes allow us to weather periods of low gold prices, to reward shareholders and to take advantage of strategic opportunities throughout the cycle.
Optimise overhead, costs and capital expenditure
All spending decisions must be scrutinised to ensure they are optimally structured and necessary to fulfil our core business objective. We do not control the price of our product, which can be volatile and unpredictable. By optimising spending and investment, we are able to maximise our margins throughout the gold-price cycle, withstanding and even flourishing during periods of low gold prices and continuing to invest in the sustainability of our business without unnecessary reliance on dilutionary equity top-ups.
Improve portfolio quality
Our asset portfolio must be actively managed to improve the overall mix of our production base as we strive for a competitive valuation as a business. This is key to unlocking the full underlying value of the portfolio. We continue to invest in upgrading the overall quality and longevity of our portfolio, by developing new lower-cost mining operations; extending the profitable lives of our existing operations through brownfield exploration and the discovery of a new Ore Reserve; mergers, acquisitions and divestments; and improving the efficiency of our fleets and plants.
Maintain long-term optionality
Our Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve portfolio, our primary natural capital input, is essential to the successful growth of our business. Improving the quality of this natural capital, enhances our ability to create value. To maintain long-term optionality, we aim to continually replenish and increase the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve pipeline so as to sustain the business over time. Key to achieving this are our exploration activities, both greenfield and brownfield, and project development. With our world-class team of geologists and other specialists we aim to maintain and replenish a pipeline of economically viable orebodies that will support delivery of sustained value-adding growth. By discovering, developing and exploiting viable orebodies sustainably and cost efficiently, AngloGold Ashanti positions itself to create long-term value.