Independent assurance report to the Directors of AngloGold Ashanti
As a member of the International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM), AngloGold Ashanti Limited (AngloGold Ashanti) is committed to obtaining assurance over specified assertions related to its 2022 Sustainability Report in accordance with the ICMM Mining Principles (Dec 2022).
In addition, as a member of the World Gold Council, AngloGold Ashanti also requires assurance on its implementation of the World Gold Council (WGC) Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs) and the Conflict-free Gold Standard.
IBIS ESG Consulting Africa (Pty) Ltd (IBIS) was commissioned by AngloGold Ashanti to conduct an independent third-party assurance engagement in relation to the sustainability information in its Sustainability Report (the Report) for the financial year that ended 31 December 2022 as well as its Conflict-free Gold Report for 2021.
IBIS is an independent licensed provider of sustainability assurance services. The assurance team was led by Petrus Gildenhuys with support from a multidisciplinary team of health, safety, social, environmental and assurance specialists with extensive experience in sustainability reporting. Petrus is a Lead Certified Sustainability Assurance Practitioner (LCSAP) with more than 25 years’ experience in sustainability performance measurement involving both advisory and assurance work.
Assurance standard applied
This assurance engagement was performed in accordance with AccountAbility’s AA1000AS v3 (2020) (“AA1000AS”) and was conducted to meet the AA1000AS Type II Moderate and High level requirements respectively as indicated below.
Respective responsibilities and IBIS’ independence
The directors of AngloGold Ashanti are responsible for preparing its Sustainability Report and for the collection and presentation of sustainability information within the Report. The directors are also responsible for the preparation and presentation of a compliance statement in accordance with the ICMM Mining Principles and related reporting commitments. This responsibility includes the identification of stakeholders and stakeholder requirements, material sustainability issues and commitments with respect to sustainability performance, as well as for the design, implementation, and maintenance of internal controls relevant to the preparation of the report.
For the RGMPs, AngloGold Ashanti is responsible for ensuring that the organisation designs, implements, operates and monitors activities, processes and controls to ensure compliance with policies and procedures that conform to the Principles. It is also responsible for the preparation and presentation of the report on the Conflict-free Gold Standard as well as the required disclosure thereon. This responsibility includes establishing appropriate risk management and internal controls from which the reported information is derived.
IBIS’ responsibility is to the Directors of AngloGold Ashanti alone and in accordance with the terms of reference agreed with AngloGold Ashanti. IBIS applies a strict independence policy and confirms its impartiality to AngloGold Ashanti in delivering the assurance engagement. This assurance engagement is the first assurance engagement conducted for AngloGold Ashanti by IBIS.
The purpose of the assurance engagement was to provide the management of AngloGold Ashanti with an independent assurance opinion on whether:
a) AngloGold Ashanti meets the implementation and reporting requirements in terms of its World Gold Council membership as disclosed with specific reference to the RGMPs (Moderate),
b) AngloGold Ashanti’s methodology for preparing the Conflict-Free Gold Report for 2021 are in accordance with the Conflict-Free Gold Standard (Moderate), and
c) the Report meets the following objectives as per the ICMM Mining Principles (Dec 2022).
- ICMM Subject Matter 1: AngloGold Ashanti’s conformance with the ICMM Mining Principles, including the associated mandatory requirements set out in the ICMM Position Statements. (Moderate)
- ICMM Subject Matter 2: AngloGold Ashanti’s material sustainability risks and opportunities that form the basis of its review of the business and the views and expectations of its stakeholders. This involves AngloGold Ashanti’s approach to identify, prioritise and respond to its material sustainable development (SD) risks and opportunities, assessed through AngloGold Ashanti’s application of the AA1000 Accountability Principles (2018). (Moderate)
- ICMM Subject Matter 3: The existence and status of AngloGold Ashanti’s implementation of systems and approaches used to manage its identified material SD risks and opportunities. (Moderate)
- ICMM Subject Matter 4: Reporting on AngloGold Ashanti’s performance during the reporting period reflected by the following subject matter disclosures relating to AngloGold Ashanti’s material SD risks and opportunities:
|Key performance indicator||Unit of measurement|
|Type of injury and rates of injury and number of work-related fatalities (Ensuring the health, safety and security of employees, contractors and communities – Sustainability Report)||Number|
|Occupational diseases (Number of new Silicosis / Tuberculosis (TB) / Noise-induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) Cases) (Ensuring the health, safety and security of employees, contractors and communities – Sustainability Report)||Number|
|Community investment (CSI) (Supporting self-sustaining communities – Sustainability Report)||USD|
|Energy intensity (Pathway to net zero and climate change resilience – Sustainability Report)||GJ/ tonne treated|
|Total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Pathway to net zero and climate change resilience – Sustainability Report)||tCO2e|
|GHG emissions intensity (Pathway to net zero and climate change resilience – Sustainability Report)||Kg of GHG per tonne treated|
|Total water discharge by quality and destination (Managing water as a finite and at-risk resource – Sustainability Report)||Kl|
|Total number and volume of significant spills (Environmental stewardship – Sustainability Report)||Number|
|Total amounts of overburden, rock, tailings, and sludges and their associated risks (ESG Data Workbook – Sustainability Report)||Number|
|Percentage of security personnel trained in the organisation’s policies and procedures concerning aspects of human rights (VPSHR) that are relevant to operation (Respecting and upholding human rights – Sustainability Report)||Percentage|
|Percentage and total number of operations that have been subject to human rights reviews and/or impact assessments (ESG Data Workbook)||Percentage and Number|
|Percentage of new suppliers that were screened using labour practices / human rights impacts criteria (Respecting and upholding human rights – Sustainability Report)||Percentage|
|Royalties and taxes paid to government in terms of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Principles (Upholding business ethics and transparency – Sustainability Report)||$ million|
|Key performance indicator||Unit of measurement|
|Proportion of spending on locally based suppliers at significant locations of operation (2022 at a glance – Sustainability Report)||Percentage|
|Total water imported by source (Managing water as a finite and at-risk resource – Sustainability Report)||Megalitres|
|Operational sites owned, leased, managed in or adjacent to protected areas and areas of high biodiversity value outside protected areas (ESG Data Workbook)||Number|
|Total weight of waste by type and disposal method (ESG Data Workbook)||Tonnes, Kilotonnes and Megatonnes|
|Amount of land (owned, or managed) disturbed or rehabilitated (Environmental stewardship – Sustainability Report)||Hectares|
|Number of grievances about human rights impacts / impacts on society filed, addressed and resolved through formal grievance mechanisms (Supporting self-sustaining communities – Sustainability Report)||Number|
|Significant actual and potential negative human rights impacts in the supply chain and actions (Respecting and upholding human rights – Sustainability Report)||Narrative|
|Programmes for skills management and lifelong learning that support the continued employability of employees and assist them in managing career endings (ESG Data Workbook)||Number|
- ICMM Subject Matter 5: AngloGold Ashanti’s application of disclosures regarding the Company’s prioritisation process for selecting assets for third-party Performance Expectations (PE) Validation (See About this report). (Moderate)
The following suitable assessment criteria were used in undertaking the work:
- The WGC RGMP criteria
- The WGC Conflict-free Gold Standard criteria
- The ICMM Mining Principles as defined by the following subject matter criteria:
- ICMM Subject Matter 1: ICMM Principles and relevant PEs, and mandatory requirements set out in the ICMM Position Statements
- ICMM Subject Matter 2: AngloGold Ashanti’s description of its process for identifying material sustainability issues that meet the principles of completeness and materiality as defined in Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as well as AA1000AP (2018) adherence criteria for the Principles of Inclusivity, Materiality, Responsiveness and Impact as published
- ICMM Subject Matter 3: AngloGold Ashanti’s description of systems and approaches (as reported) that meet the reporting requirements for management of SD risks and opportunities in line with the requirements of GRI 103
- ICMM Subject Matter 4: Completeness, accuracy and validity of reported sustainability data throughout the Report in accordance with the internal AngloGold Ashanti operational Safety and Sustainable Development Indicator Definitions and Guidance Notes
- ICMM Subject Matter 5: The description of the AngloGold Ashanti’s asset prioritisation process and its application
Assurance procedures performed
Our assurance methodology included:
- Interviews with relevant functional managers from AngloGold Ashanti Group and inspection of information provided to test and verify the existence and completeness of procedures and processes in place for adherence to the AA1000AP Standard, ICMM Mining Principles, and the WGC requirements
- AngloGold Ashanti Group, as well as a combination of desktop and onsite reviews at nine sampled operations across the globe. This involved testing, on a sample basis, the measurement, collection, aggregation and reporting of selected sustainability information at each operation
- Inspection and corroboration of supporting evidence to evaluate the data generation and reporting processes against the assurance criteria
- Reliance on Internal Audit work related to select indicators in scope by way of reviewing the scope of work, procedures performed, and outcomes documented
- Reporting the assurance observations to management as they arose to provide an opportunity for corrective action prior to completion of the assurance process
- Assessing the presentation of information relevant to the scope of work in the Report to help ensure consistency with the assurance observations
Engagement and inherent limitations
IBIS planned and performed the work to obtain all the information and explanations believed necessary to provide a basis for the assurance conclusions for High and Moderate levels of assurance respectively in accordance with AA1000AS v3.
The procedures performed at a Moderate assurance level vary in nature from and are less extensive than for High assurance in relation to risk assessment procedures, including an understanding of internal control, and the procedures performed in response to the assessed risks. As a result, the level of assurance obtained for a Moderate assurance engagement is lower than for High assurance as per AA1000AS v3.
Conversion factors used to derive emissions and energy used from fuel and electricity consumed, are based upon information and factors derived by independent third parties. The assurance work did not include an examination of the derivation of those factors and other third-party information.
IBIS experienced no limitations to the agreed extent of work required for the engagement. The scope of work did not extend to any subject matters other than specified in this assurance statement.
High assurance opinion |
In our opinion, based on the work undertaken for High assurance as described, we conclude that the subject matters in the scope for High assurance have been prepared and disclosed in accordance with the defined reporting criteria and are free from material misstatement.
Moderate assurance opinion |
In our opinion, based on the work undertaken for Moderate assurance as described, we conclude that the subject matters in the scope for Moderate assurance are supported by the evidence obtained.
Key observations and recommendations
Based on the work set out above, and without affecting the assurance conclusions, the key observations and recommendations for improvement are as follows:
In relation to the wgc Standards
AngloGold Ashanti has designed and implemented operational processes and controls to ensure compliance with policies and procedures that conform to the RGMPs requirements. It is also actively monitoring its implementation. IBIS applied the WCG/ICMM Equivalency Matrix to cross-validate AngloGold Ashanti’s Self-Assessments at a corporate level and the following sites: Córrego do Sitio Complex, Cuiabá Complex, Tropicana and Sunrise Dam.
AngloGold Ashanti has prepared and disclosed its 2021 Conflict-free Gold Report in accordance with the WGC Conflict-free Gold Standard and has established appropriate risk management and internal controls from which the reported 2021 information is derived..
In relation to the ICMM Subject Matter 1
AngloGold Ashanti’s corporate statements, together with the reviewed Group policies, management standards and procedures, conforms to and reflect the implementation of the ICMM Mining Principles, Performance Expectations and the related Position Statements.
In 2022 it was agreed for IBIS to focus on WGC’s RGMPs and apply the Equivalency Matrix to ‘read across’ conformance with the equivalent ICMM PEs as a means of validating the above listed entities’ self-assessments.
In relation to the ICMM Subject Matter 2
Inclusivity: AngloGold Ashanti’s Stakeholder Engagement Standard outlines its approach to stakeholder engagement, and the purpose and scope of engagement. AngloGold Ashanti has implemented processes and allocated resources to support stakeholder participation, with each of its operations customising its stakeholder engagement plan to meet the specific requirements of stakeholders in the areas of operation.
It is recommended that AngloGold Ashanti consider reporting on metrics relating to stakeholder engagement outcomes and effectiveness to ensure that it maintains its position as a stakeholder-inclusive company.
Materiality: AngloGold Ashanti has identified its material sustainability matters using a wide range of sources, including stakeholder inputs. It engages in an annual process to determine its material sustainability issues that are integrated into its governance, strategy, and risk management processes. AngloGold Ashanti clearly articulates its process for determining its material sustainability issues and how responses to these issues are developed and implemented.
Responsiveness: AngloGold Ashanti has through its annual reporting and sustainability reporting, developed a process for responding to material sustainability topics and communicating them to stakeholders that is applied across the organisation.
It is recommended that AngloGold Ashanti develop and implement a formal process for tracking responses and communication with stakeholders that is continuous and ongoing, to ensure that it is able to proactively respond to stakeholders, in a way that addresses their needs, concerns and expectations.
Impact: AngloGold Ashanti uses its materiality determination process as a basis to identify its impacts and its impact performance. AngloGold Ashanti has implemented processes to integrate the management of key impacts into strategy, governance, and risk management processes. AngloGold Ashanti has mapped out the SDGs against its material sustainability issues throughout the report, and identified priority SDG targets serving as a contextual framework for measuring and reporting its impacts, both positive and negative.
In relation to the ICMM Subject Matter 3
The processes observed to manage the Group’s material sustainability risks and opportunities have been applied throughout the Group through the implementation of standards and programmes and have been well articulated in the Sustainability Report and Company website. Group Management Standards and Policies define the mandatory minimum requirements set for managing a wide range of sustainability issues.
IN RELATION TO the ICMM SUBJECT MATTER 4
IBIS observed that appropriate measures are in place to provide reliable source data related to the selected sustainability disclosures in the assurance scope. AngloGold Ashanti has an established sustainability data management system, which assists with the collection and consolidation of sustainability information.
Data inconsistencies that were identified during the assurance process were subsequently corrected by management.
IBIS recommends that additional internal reviews are performed between supporting evidence and the sustainability data management system to ensure that figures are correctly calculated, entered and reported on the system.
IN RELATION TO the ICMM SUBJECT MATTER 5
AngloGold Ashanti’s process of external validation as observed by IBIS is confirmed to have commenced in September 2022 and is scheduled for completion across all assets over a three-year period. AngloGold Ashanti re-prioritised its asset validation process to align with the combined assurance audit cycle.
A comprehensive management report detailing specific findings and recommendations for continued sustainability reporting improvement has been submitted to AngloGold Ashanti management for consideration.
Director, IBIS ESG Consulting South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Johannesburg, 15 March 2023
The assurance statement provides no assurance on the maintenance and integrity of sustainability information on the website, including controls used to maintain this. These matters are the responsibility of AngloGold Ashanti.
Note: AngloGold Ashanti’s measurement and reporting criteria applied to report its sustainability information in the 2022 Sustainability Report are publicly available.