AngloGold Ashanti recognises that, as the company conducts its business, so it has an impact – real or potential – on a wide range of stakeholders and business partners.
We have identified the following broad groups of stakeholders at corporate, operational and community level:
A comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of these stakeholders may be found with this report.
Our engagement with our stakeholders varies in frequency and may depend on specific matters at hand. The nature of this engagement may be formal, informal or both. It is our preference to engage proactively with stakeholders on a regular basis, and to jointly identify and deal with issues of concern as well as to pre-empt and address potential areas of conflict. We provide some insight below into the range of stakeholder interaction in which we engaged in 2007.
Sunrise Dam has registered with the Greenhouse Challenge Plus (Commonwealth Energy Efficiency Opportunity Programme) as part of the company’s overall commitment to improving its carbon footprint, and in line with its obligation to meet the Australian Government’s targets in respect of the Kyoto protocol.
At Sunrise Dam in Australia, cross-cultural training is undertaken for new employees and contractors as part of our induction process. The course aims to demonstrate the link between Aboriginal culture and the local environment, and to explore and demystify the differences between Western and Aboriginal cultures. The historical and cultural information presented highlights the many complexities and challenges faced by Australian indigenous communities and the corresponding challenges faced by non-indigenous people to develop a mutual understanding and develop a climate of respect.
In recognition of the need to understand, in advance of mining, the environmental and cultural heritage of the regions in which we operate in advance of mining, AngloGold Ashanti and its joint venture partner at Tropicana, Independence Group NL, undertook extensive baseline biodiversity and heritage protection studies in the project area in 2007. Working initially from relevant state and federal government information, the field studies were aimed at identifying any threatened species and significant heritage sites in or adjacent to planned mining areas. Local indigenous communities (the NEIB, Tjuntjuntjarra, Coonana and Nullabour people) were consulted to ensure that any known ethnographic sites within the proposed communities were identified; although no ethnographic sites were recorded, a number of archaeological sites were identified. Other bodies that were consulted and involved in the studies at Tropicana were the local councils of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Menzies and Laverton and the Department of Industry and Resource, as well as the Department of Environment and Conservation, both of Western Australia. See case study on Biodiversity and heritage protection at Tropicana.
We recognise that the achievement of our safety objectives requires the commitment of all levels of the company. A safety culture survey undertaken amongst employees in 2007 helped us to understand how we can achieve this. See case study on Safety culture survey at Sunrise Dam.
CC&V is an active member of the Southern Teller County Focus Group and actively participates in this organisation’s programmes to ensure historic preservation of the area and local economic development (including tourism potential). Through this entity and other direct interaction, the mine endeavours to brief the local communities on plans at its operations and how this may have an impact on the area, and to deal with issues that may arise.
In Colombia, contracts and collaborative agreements have been entered into with the communities and mining organisations present in all the areas where artisanal mining activity has been encountered. Our policy, Good Friends and Neighbours, allows for the establishment of contracts and collaborative agreements, in the interests of promoting legalised and commercial mining activity. At the heart of the programme is the allocation of ground to artisanal and small-scale miners, giving them legal mining title over the property. In return for this, the miners have to register in terms of the local mining regulatory framework and comply with some basic health and safety and environmental requirements. See discussion on artisanal and small-scale mining.
The Harry Oppenheimer Environmental Centre in the town of Nova Lima in Brazil provides a unique environmental education and recreational facility, while at the same time preserving a valuable part of the Atlantic Forest Reserve in what is essentially an urban area. In addition to the ecological vale of the centre (See case study on Mining operations serve to protect endangered species in Brazil), the centre is visited by more than 10,000 community members per annum, with about 3,000 students having taken part in the environmental awareness programme.
2007 saw the implementation of a plan by four mining companies and a service supplier company operating in Santa Cruz Province (Cerro Vanguardia, Sandvik, Minera Santa Cruz, Manatial Espejo and Mina Martha) to train local unskilled employees. The programme, undertaken in conjunction with the University of Patagonia (UNPA), has already seen 151 employees go through training, with 52 of them from Cerro Vanguardia. See case study on Companies join forces to fast track unskilled employees.
At the Brazilian operations, the families of employees have become involved in safety and health initiatives at the company through the Golden Wives programme. The partners of employees attend regular briefings and annual visits to the operations and, in addition to developing an understanding of the potential hazards at work that at their partners face (and therefore assisting in supporting them), the wives are also encouraged to take the safety programme to their own communities and schools.
In support of a national and business coalition initiative in Brazil to promote the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, AngloGold Ashanti Brasil Minerašão developed an outreach programme to involve the children and the young people in the communities surrounding its operations in Nova Lima, Sabará, Santa Barbara and Raposos. The campaign has been run by the company’s long-established employee volunteer programme, the Holding Hands initiative. Volunteers visited schools in these cities and towns, creating awareness of the MDG objectives, stimulating interest and telling learners how they can participate on an individual level. In total, 21 company employee volunteers spoke to more than 1,650 students over a period of 15 days. A competition developed to create interest and awareness in the MDGs was initiated. See case study on Schools’ competition focused on United Nations Millennium development goals.
A comprehensive programme for interaction with local communities is in place at the Brazilian operations. Quarterly meetings are held with communities in Sabará, Nova Lima, Rapasos and Santa Barbara. Key issues dealt with during the year included:
In addition, the company runs a 24-hour toll-free hotline on which community members can log complaints. During the year, 57 complaints were received, 40% of which were related to dust during the dry season.
In Puerto San Julián, near the Cerro Vanguardia mine, AngloGold Ashanti was closely involved with the establishment of a local development agency in 2004. As farming has tailed off in the area (owing to large tracts of land being affected by ash fall-out from the Mount Hudson in Chile in the early 1990s), so the town has become reliant on Cerro Vanguardia for employment and economic support. The agency, under the direction of the University of Patagonia, is identifying and assessing the feasibility of various socio-economic development projects in the region and is drawing up a development plan implementation from 2007 to 2020. The development agency’s aim is to ensure that there are alternative livelihood options available to this community both concurrent with, and post-mining activity in the region.The agency also works closely with local community representatives and the local municipality. See the case study on Fostering partnerships in Patagonia in the Report to Society 2006.
The establishment of a Joint Investigative Group (JIG) between AngloGold Ashanti and WACAM (the Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining), in respect of legacy and current issues of concern at Obuasi, has been significant. An inaugural meeting between the two parties was held on 21 August 2007, the culmination of a 16-month process of meetings and interactions with this Ghanaian-based NGO. The JIG comprises six representatives, three each from AngloGold Ashanti and WACAM. The JIG has agreed on future focus areas of human rights, environmental issues, and issues relating to land and post-mining rehabilitation. As a first step, the group embarked on a fact-finding mission, visiting a number of Obuasi communities in September 2007. A formal memorandum of understanding, setting out the group’s terms of reference and programme for the forthcoming year, is being prepared in early 2008.
At Iduapriem, the company has engaged with WACAM, the Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) and Oxfam America in respect of concerns raised by these organisations regarding food security, resettlement, alleged human rights abuse and environmental rehabilitation. The mine hosted a visit by Oxfam America and WACAM to Iduapriem in December 2007. This engagement has proved valuable and is in addition to the extensive community and stakeholder forums that have been set up at Iduapriem. See case study on An integrated approach to community relations at Iduapriem.
The Iduapriem community in Ghana is one that has become dependent on and has been affected by mining. The group has developed the Hand-in-Hand programme to address a sustainable way forward in ensuring that the community develops, among other things, alternative livelihood. See case study on An integrated approach to community relations at Iduapriem.
As part of its Integrated Development Action Planning (IDAP) process, the Sadiola and Yatela stakeholders met in December 2007. 150 participants from all levels of civil society, NGOs, the media and the IFC focused on mine closure, water security and the epidemiological study. Recommendations for further deliberation included:
AngloGold Ashanti is actively involved in the ICMM initiated Resource Endowment Project in Tanzania. As part of this process, a multi-stakeholder workshop was hosted jointly by Government of Tanzania and ICMM in Dar Es Salam during December. This provided a platform for engagement with various stakeholder to improve communication and their involvement in the mining industry.
AngloGold Ashanti has contracted PACT Congo, a developmental NGO and consultancy, to assist in the identification and implementation of appropriate strategies to create an initial co-existence between the company and the artisanal miners on the company’s concession in the Ituri region. An ASM working group has set up and a pilot project, to improve ASM extraction and treatment techniques, is planned for 2008.
Malaria remains one of the most significant threats to community health in West Africa, particularly to pregnant women and children. AngloGold Ashanti’s malaria management programme at Obuasi (See case study on Obuasi malaria control programme: a model for Africa) has been very successful, delivering a 75% reduction in malaria rates since the programme began two years ago. Now, the lessons being learnt at this programme are being rolled out to Siguiri, Iduapriem (in conjunction with other mining companies through the Chamber of Mines) and in Tanzania (in collaboration with the government-based initiative).
In 2007, the company contracted an external company, ISOS international, to supply emergency response services to the mine and to the local community. Previously no such service was available in the remote region of Karabib, which is where the Navachab mine is located.
As part of the group’s commitment to the Social and Labour Plans that have been developed (and accepted by the Department of Minerals and Energy), in compliance with the South African mining charter, a number of social investment and local economic development projects are undertaken each year in the areas around our operations and in the regions from which the company draws its employees. See an account of the social investment projects in 2007 and a full report on the company’s compliance with the mining charter.
In 2007, issues relating to wages and conditions of employment were once again negotiated with the major unions in South Africa: the National Union of Mineworkers, the United Associations of South Africa, and the South African Equity Workers’ Association which represent about 87% of all employees. The agreements reached are applicable to around 97% of employees in the region see case study on Towards collective bargaining – the view of the group and comparison between South Africa and Ghana.
AngloGold continues to engage with a number of parties in respect of the Wonderfontein Spruit, which is located to the north of the company’s operations at Carletonville. Included in the stakeholder forums are government representatives, regulators (such as the National Nuclear Regulator) and various NGOs. See case study on Engagement on the Wonderfontein Spruit.
As part of the group’s commitment to supporting development in communities where the families of its workers live, AngloGold Ashanti’s CSI Fund has been sponsoring the Lesotho Water Project, which has been run by Teba Development since 2001. This programme, established in partnership with Mngcunube Development, with the express purpose of repairing and maintaining boreholes in the villages in the Mafeteng District, was joined by other funders as the process progressed. Continued success and sustainability are evident. See case study on the Lesotho Water Project.
As part of the group’s commitment to address the legacy of silicosis in the industry, AngloGold Ashanti and other mining companies (through the Chamber of Mines) have engaged with the Department of Health and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and other statutory bodies to:
At the same time the companies have committed to corporate social investment expenditure and local economic development in the areas in which those affected employee reside. See case studies on The former mineworkers project and making ODMWA work - one year on - and Nongoma social.
AngloGold Ashanti Annual Report 2007 – Report to Society