Pathway to net zero and climate change resilience
The physical effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent around the globe. Climate change can exacerbate existing mining-related risks and impacts on ecosystems, communities and employees. More than that, our employees and the communities in which they live will inevitably bear the brunt of the physical impacts at all levels.
AngloGold Ashanti, as a business, has a role and responsibility to identify and address climate change and partner with governments, business and communities to address the most critical global challenges of our time.
Recognising that climate change imposes substantial risk to the global economy and socio-economic development, we are committed to proactively and transparently minimising current and future climate risks, and to charting a pathway to net zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 2050. We are also working to strengthen the climate resilience of our business, our value chain partners, our host communities and the environment in which we operate.
Our Climate Change Strategy aims to deliver measurable progress, focus our actions, and demonstrate our commitment to proactive, holistic, sustained and transparent action on climate change. To achieve this, our Climate Change Strategy adheres to five key principles:
- Seeking to ensure that our core values are upheld through actions arising from the Climate Change Strategy
- Maintaining external commitments where we are a signatory, including the ICMM’s Mining Principles, the ICMM’s Position Statement, the WGC’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles and the UNGC
- Taking a holistic, long-term, life-of-mine and systemic approach to managing climate risks that includes aspects beyond the fence line, supply chains, communities and ecosystems
- Using the latest science-based data, information and knowledge to support decision-making
- Disclosing in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). View our climate change disclosure TCFD table in the <IR>
AngloGold Ashanti’s decarbonisation journey started in 2008 when we set a long-term target to reduce GHG emissions intensity by 30% from a 2007 base. By 2021, we had achieved a 47% reduction in GHG emissions intensity through some fuel switching and efficiency improvements but also due to the closure and divestment of assets.
In 2021, our Board approved a new Climate Change Strategy, and we published a stand-alone Climate Change Report in line with the guidelines and recommendation of the TCFD. Our 2030 targets are embedded in a Roadmap to Net Zero which focuses on all sources of energy-related emissions, both at our mine sites and from our electric power providers.
As an ICMM member, we were part of a landmark climate change commitment in 2021 to achieve net zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions by 2050 and to accelerate action on reducing Scope 3 GHG emissions, including setting credible reduction targets in partnership with our suppliers. This supports the Paris Agreement’s objectives to limit the increase in global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
Our climate change strategy also drives the management of physical and transition climate risks into our strategic and operational planning processes.
Our work is further underpinned by a framework that aims to improve our climate maturity along four pillars, aligned to the TCFD themes, namely governance, strategy, risk management, and climate metrics and targets.
We have set up an internal climate financial reporting forum in response to the emerging SEC and ISSB rules on climate reporting. Through the forum we track and analyse emerging climate reporting requirements, enabling us to develop robust systems for climate-related reporting and assurance.
Progress in 2022
The year in review saw our energy-related absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions rise, as anticipated to 1.47MT vs 1.38MT, a 7% increase, compared to 2021, our new baseline year. This was still marginally below our forecast energy-related carbon budget of 1.49MT, required to deliver our 2022 Business Plan. When accounting for the use of explosives, our final Scope 1 and 2 emissions ended at 1.486MT.
Comparatively, our 2022 direct and indirect energy consumption was ~4% higher than in 2021. The carbon intensity of our energy mix, a recent metric we track relative to a basket of peers measures how clean our energy mix is. This increased to ~65kg from ~63kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emitted per GJ of energy in 2021, a 3% increase.
Pathway to net zero
In 2021, as part of our journey to achieve net zero Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2050, our Climate Change Working Group presented our Group carbon emissions reduction target, stating that we aim to achieve a 30% absolute reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030, as compared to 2021. We plan to reach this goal through a combination of renewable energy projects, fleet electrification, and lower-emission power sources.
The targeted reduction, from a 2021 baseline of 1.4 million tonnes of CO2e, aims to see emissions from the Company’s operations fall to about 1 million tonnes by the end of the decade. When growth projects are factored in, including those in Nevada and Colombia, AngloGold Ashanti is targeting a 46% reduction in emissions in that period.
Scope 1 covers GHG emissions from within the mine site, while Scope 2 covers indirect GHG emissions from the purchase of electricity from third-party providers. The capital cost required to achieve these reductions over the coming eight years is anticipated to be about $1.1bn, of which $350m will be funded over the period by AngloGold Ashanti and the remaining $750m through third-party funding, including the providers of renewable energy infrastructure.
See more about our strategy to reduce our carbon emissions and roadmap to net zero.
CARBON EMISSIONS REDUCTION PIPELINE
A pipeline of initiatives will be tracked to help ensure successful implementation with the majority delivering benefits by 2027
The targeted reductions will be achieved by each of the Group’s business units implementing scoped out initiatives, including the introduction of renewable energy, cleaner grid power and partial fleet electrification. Approximately 60% of the planned emissions reductions will come from large renewable energy projects including wind and solar projects at the Company’s Australian operations and solar-power plants at both Siguiri in Guinea and the Iduapriem and Obuasi operations in Ghana.
In addition, a pre-feasibility study was completed at the Cuiabá mine in Brazil to confirm the benefits of replacing some mobile fleet with battery electric vehicles (BEV). The outcome of this study will inform the starting point for a feasibility study in 2023. The viability of BEVs will also be investigated at Geita and Obuasi as we progress a concept level study for completion in the first quarter of 2023. We will also be working with Sandvik to trial underground mining’s largest-capacity BEV truck at Sunrise Dam in 2023. The viability of a wind farm at Cerro Vanguardia in Argentina is being investigated with promising results showing wind speeds being sufficient to support a viable economic return. In Colombia, we are investigating the applicability of converting trucks to use dual fuel (diesel or hydrogen) and in Nevada various options of linking to a green grid and mine electrification are being reviewed, including conveyor and trolley assist versus traditional haulage.
Two clean grid initiatives are already close to completion – a switch from diesel generation at the Geita mine site in Tanzania to the country’s national power grid, which has a high proportion of power sourced from gas and renewables, and the transition to full hydro-grid power in Brazil.
Reducing Scope 3 GHG emissions, which comprises approximately ~37% of our total 2022 GHG emissions, requires a collective effort with our value chain partners.
In 2023, we will continue to:
- Consistently work to deepen our understanding and, where relevant, our response to climate change
- Strengthen our governance of climate change, by improving knowledge sharing, both internally and externally
- Further embed considerations of climate risks into key decision-making and reporting processes
We are working to
strengthen the climate
resilience of our business,
our value chain partners,
our host communities and
the environment in which