The interplay between threats and associated risks is complex and dynamic, and protecting the Company’s people, assets and products is vital to our business continuity and sustainability.
Mining operations are often an integral part of their host communities and so protection of the business cannot be seen in a vacuum. The security, well-being and resilience of our host communities are intrinsically linked to our success. To achieve this, our security function focuses on engagement with relevant stakeholders and remains proactive.
Our approach to security is guided by policies and strategies designed to meet security needs and demonstrate absolute respect for human rights. Our commitment to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights serves as the main driver for our security management practices.
AngloGold Ashanti operates in a complex security landscape across all our jurisdictions with varying risk profiles. In 2021, heightened risks across our operations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing criminality in some jurisdictions, necessitated risk-adjusted strategies to counter and mitigate security threats.
Ongoing engagement with internal and external stakeholders, especially community leadership and public security agencies, allowed us to use inclusive, multi-stakeholder responses to increasing pressures. We continue to work with our local stakeholders to address the significant challenge that ASM and illegal mining activities pose at our sites in Tanzania, Ghana and Guinea.
Our response to this escalating risk in recent years has had positive results as we have focused on reducing the number of fatalities and injuries of those involved in ASM and illegal mining falling in our operational areas. The Security MOU for the use of Public Security Forces, which was signed by the Guinea Ministry of Mines and Geology in 2020, remains a driver for continuous improvement in our interaction with public security in the country.
At Geita in Tanzania, the community policing initiative, in conjunction with the Tanzanian police services, continues to yield positive results and is being expanded across communities at the mine. We also continue to see fewer intrusions and a reduction in potential conflict on and around the mine site.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to greater reliance on technology in many areas. Our continued investment in technology, coupled with strong governance, a robust policy framework and business operating processes, provided employees with a well-functioning, stable and secure working environment.
Challenges to the scalability of technology and cybersecurity were addressed and mitigated, contributing to a secure and improved operating environment. The cybersecurity team concluded the successful migration on 1 June 2021 from a first-generation onsite security operations centre to a fully cloud-based, remotely operated security centre. This produced enhanced capabilities and improvements, including the ability to ingest data from multiple new sources. We also started providing around-the-clock operating and response times in four major languages.
Several high-profile ransomware cyberattacks globally over the past two years highlighted heightened cybersecurity risks. The technology team set out to analyse and review cybersecurity risks in operational sides of the business. The analysis and information obtained from the initial analysis highlighted the importance of guarding against cybersecurity risks by effectively monitoring threats and vulnerabilities. Additional reviews will be conducted at every site in the AngloGold Ashanti portfolio.
We remain committed to minimising risk to the organisation and continuously improving security by aligning all security controls to the NIST Cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure. All policies and procedures are reviewed on a regular basis and audited for compliance.
The safety of our employees, contractors and host communities is our primary security concern
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