It also ensures multidisciplinary assessment and management of current and future closure risks and liabilities, while identifying opportunities for value-adding initiatives and projects.
We ensure our operations have closure plans that comply with applicable laws, regulations and requirements. In 2021, the Sunrise Dam Gold Mine Closure Plan was updated in line with the Regulator 2020 guideline and approved by regulators. The closure plan for the expanded Tropicana TSF was also approved by the regulators. Iduapriem mine submitted its Mine Closure Plan 2021 to the Ghana EPA for approval and, in Argentina, CVSA submitted its updated mine closure plan that is aligned to new laws of the Santa Cruz province.
Planning for closure requires a multifocal approach, which takes into account related social, economic, environmental and governance issues. In line with SDG 15, we continue to conduct environmental assessments and ensure investment in post-closure environmental rehabilitation to restore land and encourage biodiversity. The focus at Iduapriem was to encapsulate an old waste rock dump, ensuring runoff water is shed from the facility and stopping acid rock drainage formation.
Our closure programmes aim to earn stakeholder trust and enhance our social licence to operate. Stakeholder input is required throughout the site’s life cycle, and closure management plans must balance corporate and stakeholder interests while complying with regulatory obligations and commitments. This approach contributes to more resilient communities that can adjust, adapt and thrive under a range of circumstances during operations and after closure.
All sites support alternative livelihood initiatives through their respective socio-economic development programmes and by strengthening value-sharing efforts such as localisation of supply chains and employment. During the year, Siguiri and USAID jointly funded training of more than 200 cashew nut farmers to provide nuts for a planned processing plant funded by the mine and operated by a technical partner.
At Obuasi, an area that previously hosted a shaft and processing plant, has been reclaimed. Infrastructure is now being developed to allow for the handover to the local municipality for mixed-use developments, including residential, commercial, industrial and recreational areas. Reclamation of former tailings dam footprints was significantly advanced and plans are in place for installing infrastructure that will facilitate handover of these areas to the local municipality.
We undertake quarterly reviews and updates of our mine closure liability estimates to ensure compliance with legislative changes and align them to business plans, closure plans, facility designs and unit rates for implementation activities, among other things. In Brazil, our operations updated their TSF closure designs and cost estimates to comply with legislation, which requires a transition to dry stacking as well as global best practices and public expectations. At year-end, AngloGold Ashanti’s consolidated Group environmental rehabilitation estimates were $688m.
Relevant policies as well as applicable legislation require us to ensure that we have sufficient financial resources available to meet our closure obligations. We achieve this by having a range of financial instruments and assurances, including accounting provisions, escrow accounts, and bank or insurance guarantees for mine closure that comply with national legislative frameworks.
Our approach to integrated closure management is articulated in our Closure Planning Standard which sets a benchmark across our operations.
2021 Land Disturbed / Rehabilitated
|Total land disturbed and not yet rehabilitated opening balance
|Total amount of land newly disturbed within the reporting year
|Total amount of land newly rehabilitated within the reporting period to agreed upon end use
|Total amount of land rehabilitated to date
|Total amount of land disturbed and not yet rehabilitated closing balance
|Total land managed
Closure and Biodiversity Management Plans (BMP)
|Number of company operations that have closure plans
|Percentage of company operations that have closure plans
|Number of sites that have been assessed as requiring a BMP
|Number of sites in need of a BMP that have a BMP in place and operational
Total number of IUCN Red List species and national conservation list species
|Critically 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; one species of mammal in Australia.
|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: Two species of plant, two species of mammal and one species of fish at AGA Mineração (Brazil); one species of mammal in Australia.
|Near Threatened Category
|IUCN: Two species of mammal at Cerro Vanguardia; two species of bird and two species of mammals at AGA Mineração Brazil.
Operational sites owned, leased, managed in, or adjacent to, protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas
|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.
|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.
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 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.