AngloGold Ashanti and Anglo Platinum co-operated on a pilot project for which simulation trials were conducted at Mponeng and Anglo Platinum’s Rustenburg Precious Metal Refiners (RPMR) in February 2007. The aim of these trials was to gather and share information to be used in developing plans to manage and ensure the continuity of business operations in the event of a catastrophe with a long-term outlook such as an influenza pandemic. The project was overseen by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) which investigated and considered the necessary aspects and components required for managing operational continuity in the event of such a crisis. PWC assisted in developing a formal plan or code of practice (tool kit) for each site. The simulation exercises highlighted areas which are in need of enhanced planning.
The original code of practice developed for the business continuity management (BCM) plan was extremely comprehensive. This has now been refined and simplified and rolled out at the Obuasi and Iduapriem operations in Ghana, where the status of the plans is currently being confirmed.
Based on what has been learnt here, and in order to facilitate the implementation of BCM across the entire AngloGold Ashanti group, corporate guidelines to assist each operation are in the process of being developed. These guidelines will detail what is expected of each operation in the event of a crisis, an action plan and responsibilities, among others.
In order to expedite the roll-out process, those operations/sites which are less well prepared are being identified and the necessary support and guidance will be provided. In addition, a simulation exercise is to be conducted at AngloGold Ashanti Health in South Africa to determine whether it would cope with a medical catastrophe in that country as it would clearly have a key role to play in such an eventuality.
In developing such plans, which arose from the work done by the avian flu task group, (see case study: AngloGold Ashanti establishes avian flu task force, in the Report to Society 2006) it became apparent that they could be applied to many other long-term crises, such as industrial or political unrest, an extended power outage or a banking crisis. AngloGold Ashanti operations have a track record in managing immediate crises, but have had less experience in managing those of a longer-term nature.
AngloGold Ashanti Annual Report 2007 – Report to Society