AngloGold Ashanti has a strong track record as a fair and accountable mining company pursuing best practice in ESG. I am pleased to report we have made significant progress this year as we continue to integrate and embed our sustainability practices in all aspects of our business, in line with the guidance and tone set by our Board.
Our overarching goal is to sustainably share the benefits from our employees and shareholders to a diverse range of stakeholders across our value chain. We recognise that to make progress in a sustained way requires the correct architecture of policies and standards within the Company and among our suppliers, that help ensure thoughtful and responsible actions in respect of environmental, social and governance issues, and at the same time aim to support long-term resilience of our communities.
Success in each of these areas — and many more besides — brings mutual benefit and helps strengthen our social licence to operate (SLO).
Governance and systems
Safety is paramount and we continue to make progress in our journey towards zero harm. I am pleased that we set out our pathway towards achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, with a clear target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 (2021 baseline). We also introduced a new Discrimination and Harassment Standard with the aim of ensuring all employees and contractors feel safe and welcome at work.
To ensure that we track our progress against our objectives and targets, we developed sustainability dashboards that identify key factors in areas that are to be measured and improved upon. They provide a clear picture of performance in critical areas of safety, security, health, environment and community relations. This visual representation allows us to measure key areas, monitor our performance and pinpoint areas of concern. Ultimately, they help guide us as we deliver on policies and initiatives, improving our business sustainability, and allowing us to make positive contributions to national, regional and global economic and social development.
We seek to ensure that we have strong governance measures in place and we seek to operate in a transparent manner across all our operations. Our activities are governed by our Code of Business Principles and Ethics. This is fundamental in establishing and maintaining trust, another prerequisite to achieving and maintaining our SLO, and vital to improving our business success and sustainability.
In addition, the implementation of the Integrated Sustainability Information Management System (iSIMS) project supports us in our approach and good progress was made with the continued roll-out of this system during 2022. It will enable accurate and timely recording of incidents and monitoring of the effectiveness of our controls.
Safety is our priority and we are very pleased that we reported no fatalities during the year at any of the mines we operate. We are also seeing a consistent reduction in injury rates to the lowest levels in AngloGold Ashanti’s history, and well below the average of our peers. That said, we are in no way complacent and continue to work to improve our safety and health measures.
We refreshed our Major Hazard Management Process during the year. This was launched with one key purpose: rapid risk reduction to save lives. To this end we are asking our supervisors and employees to ensure that critical controls remain in place. If not, anyone has the ability — and indeed the duty — to stop work in the affected area.
The process is focused on simplifying, visualising and creating a shared understanding of safety risks at all levels in the Company. We reduced the number of major hazards from 18 to 10 in order to sharpen focus and to help ensure priority major hazards receive attention first.
If employees understand these major hazards and our critical controls are clearly defined, we will be able to fulfil our commitment to employees to continue to reduce harm in the workplace.
Other crucial safety management work is the continued oversight of our TSFs as we continue to work toward conformance with the GISTM. See more detail under Managing our tailings storage facilities.
New Operating Model
Our new Operating Model was introduced in late 2021, and the focus in 2022 was embedding it in the business. It is aimed at ensuring we have the right people in the right roles, doing the work necessary to deliver on our strategy, and that accountability is properly located. This is a central plank in our overall strategy to safely and responsibly close the margin gap with our major peers in the gold mining sector. We aim to increase our overall competitiveness through our full asset potential process, disciplined allocation of capital and by introducing new, lower-than-average cost sources of production from our self-generated project pipeline.
We made targeted acquisitions of properties neighbouring our own recent discoveries in southern Nevada, near the town of Beatty, where our declared Mineral Resource reached 8.4Moz at the end of 2022, with more growth potential to be unearthed. More information on our performance can be found in our <R&R>.
AngloGold Ashanti set its first GHG reduction targets in 2007, long before it was a widely accepted practice, and has reduced absolute GHG emissions by more than two-thirds since then. We remain committed to achieving net zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2050.
We set a GHG emissions reduction target that aims to achieve a 30% absolute reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030, as compared to 2021, through a combination of renewable energy projects, fleet electrification, and lower-emission thermal power sources. This programme is accretive from a net asset value perspective, and so, as the old adage goes, we will aim to do well by doing good.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
The mining industry, like many others, has room to improve in the fields of diversity, equity and inclusion. This was highlighted in the Western Australia Parliamentary Inquiry into sexual harassment against women in the sector.
We launched a global Don’t Cross the Line sexual harassment campaign, with strong input from our senior leaders, and introduced a new Careline in every business unit to give employees, contractors and affected stakeholders access to reporting lines staffed by appropriately trained support staff. It also provides trauma support, medical advice and other specialised care. In conjunction with this initiative, we relaunched our Whistleblowing line as the Speak-up anonymous reporting line.
I cannot overstate how important it is that the working environment at AngloGold Ashanti – in every office and on every operating site and exploration property – is safe, respectful, and inclusive for every employee and contractor. Making sure this is the case is personally important to me, as it is for every member of the leadership team, and every Director on the Board.
It is also consistent with the values of our Company. Every person, no matter who they are or where they work, should feel safe and protected to speak up if they see or experience harassment. Victims of harassment in all its forms should feel fully supported. We have a responsibility to pursue a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The findings of our culture survey, which were referred to in last year’s report, were delivered in 2022. The culture survey reflected the values, beliefs and behaviours of leaders and employees and was important in laying the groundwork for our new values, which were launched in early 2023.
We have set targets to increase the representation of women in our organisation; several women were appointed to leadership roles in 2022, including our Executive leads in finance and human resources, as well as the head of major projects and of global supply chain. These are important steps in a much longer journey. Increasing female leadership in the business and in the talent pipeline is a priority, and we have set a target of 25% female representation in senior leadership by 2025. We also have targets for recruitment, talent management and succession planning.
Working to delivery
The diligence of our employees in integrating our new Operating Model has played no small part in our progress in 2022. I am mindful that we have some way to go in achieving ESG best practice in all aspects of our business as we pursue initiatives to grow sustainability in the business and among communities.
We continue to work on ensuring we have the appropriate structures in place to facilitate our progress as well as the right culture and values to support continued improvement.
Chief Executive Officer
15 March 2023