The following additional information on human rights is reported in compliance with GRI.
HR1: Percentage and total number of significant investment agreements that include human rights clauses or that have undergone human rights screening.
This core indicator is categorised under the GRI aspect of investment and procurement practices.
AngloGold Ashanti is aware that the human rights performance by its network of suppliers and contractors may have a significant impact on the communities in which it operates. Where it is appropriate, specific human rights clauses are included in significant contracts (including collective bargaining and other labour conventions).
During the first half of 2010, AngloGold Ashanti continued with its joint venture activities with the De Beers group of companies. Under this joint venture, memoranda of understanding (MOU) and definitive agreements have been or are in the process of being entered into in respect of the exploration and development of placer gold mining projects on marine deposits located in, or adjacent to, the area between the high water mark and the edge of the continental shelf on a worldwide basis. These include:
- the finalisation of the Seafield definitive agreements, following the MOU signed on 17 December 2009, which are currently on hold;
- the South African Sea Areas (SASA) MOU which was signed on 1 October 2010; and
- further ventures which are being considered in other global regions.
The agreements related to the joint venture, MOU’s and each placer gold mining project include provisions that state that the operating practices in each area will be consistent with both AngloGold Ashanti’s and De Beers’ corporate values, standards and internationally-acceptable mining practice, which includes values related to human rights and communities.
As announced on 26 March 2010, Ashanti Goldfields Kilo entered into a joint venture with OKIMO regarding rights to explore in certain areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This joint venture agreement includes provisions which require that the operating practices in those areas should adhere to AngloGold Ashanti’s corporate values, standards and internationally acceptable mining practices.
There are a number of further potential investments that are currently under consideration and for which no agreements have yet been entered into. In the event that the investments being considered progress to the point of agreements, AngloGold Ashanti’s corporate values, standards and internationally acceptable mining practices would be included in such agreements.
All significant investment agreements entered into in 2010 therefore include human rights clauses.
AngloGold Ashanti has included clauses related to the protection of human rights and social commitments, consistent with its values, in relevant significant acquisition and disposal agreements since 2002. These clauses have not been included in certain acquisition and disposal agreements since that time where such clauses were not relevant to the particular asset or company being acquired or disposed. The company has also included such clauses in exploration joint venture agreements entered into since November 2009.
HR2: Percentage of significant suppliers and contractors that have undergone screening on human rights and actions taken.*
* Partial response to GRI Mining and Metals Sector Supplement indicators coming into effect from January 2012.
Suppliers to our operations are required by contract to adhere to AngloGold Ashanti’s ethical policies, which include human rights considerations, the ethical treatment of its employees and human rights laws in the country of operation.
There are various mechanisms in place to record and report on human rights abuses by the company such as the Supplier Monitoring Committee and the Whistle-Blowing channels. A process of screening of significant suppliers will be initiated during 2011, and in the medium term the company hopes through this process to be able to report on the percentage of suppliers that have undergone screening on human rights and actions taken. This information is not currently recorded at group level.
HR3: Total hours of employee training on policies and procedure concerning aspects of human rights that are relevant to operations, including the percentage of employees trained.*
* Partial response to GRI Mining and Metals Sector Supplement indicators coming into effect from January 2012.
In 2010, training was conducted on our new Code of Business Principles and Ethics, which includes aspects of human rights. A total of 131 employees in Ghana and at the corporate office in South Africa were trained following the launch of the code in November 2010. This revised Code of Ethics will be extended through the company over the next 18 months, together with a communications and training programme which will seek to integrate its principles into the business.
Currently, our human rights training efforts are focused on the training of security personnel, including third-party service providers. We consider this to be the most relevant aspect of human rights training for the group, given the nature and location of our operations. We do not record the number of hours of training given, as the capacity of our security staff and therefore the need for training varies significantly across operations and service providers. For this reason we do not consider the hours of training offered to be a significant indicator in our business. Our focus is rather on improving the quality of our training on human rights and on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). We are also using audit procedures, including self audits, group internal audit and external audit, to provide assurance on the success of the training in embedding the understanding of VPSHR and human rights policies.
All forms of discrimination, including racial and sexual harassment and discrimination against the disabled, are prohibited by the company’s business principles and policies as well as by legislation in most of the countries where our operations are situated. Policies are in place at all operations to protect employees from prejudice and, in some countries, to promote the advancement of certain groups of employees who were previously disadvantaged. Specifically in countries in Africa and in Australia the rights and promotion of indigenous peoples, the historically disadvantaged and women are provided for in law and adopted by the company.
HR5: Operations identified in which the right to exercise freedom of association and collective bargaining may be at significant risk, and actions taken to support these rights.
Certain basic human rights conventions, including those relating to freedom of association and collective bargaining, are entrenched in South African legislation, its constitution, and in laws and regulations in the countries in which AngloGold Ashanti operates. The group is committed to upholding the basic labour rights as expressed in International Labour Organization (ILO) instruments and as implemented given the specific practices in the countries where AngloGold Ashanti has operations. Specifically, it seeks to ensure the implementation of fair employment practices by prohibiting forced, compulsory or child labour and implementing these practices through country, operation and shaft level recognition and collective bargaining agreements where applicable, and through disciplinary, grievance and non-discrimination agreements and codes. No breaches of fundamental rights were alleged, nor were any charges brought against the company in connection with these during the year. No operations are deemed to be at specific risk in this regard.
HR6: Operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of child labour, and measures taken to contribute to the elimination of child labour.
AngloGold Ashanti is committed to upholding the basic labour rights enshrined in the Fundamental Rights Conventions of the ILO and in the legislation, regulations and practices of the countries where we operate. The company does not employ child labour. The company has noted situations where it appears that children are involved in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activities on or around concessions where we operate. These ASM activities may occur with or without our consent and cannot necessarily be regulated by the company.
HR7: Operations identified as having significant risk for incidents of forced or compulsory labour, and measures taken to contribute to the elimination of forced or compulsory labour.
Certain basic human rights conventions, including those relating to freedom of association and collective bargaining, are entrenched in South African legislation, its constitution, and in laws and regulations in the countries in which AngloGold Ashanti operates. The group is committed to upholding the basic labour rights as expressed in ILO instruments and as implemented given the specific practices in the countries where AngloGold Ashanti has operations. Specifically, it seeks to ensure the implementation of fair employment practices by prohibiting forced, compulsory or child labour and implementing these practices through country, operation and shaft level recognition and collective bargaining agreements where applicable, and through disciplinary, grievance and nondiscrimination agreements and codes. No breaches of fundamental rights were alleged, nor were any charges brought against the company in connection with these during the year. No operations are deemed to be at specific risk in this regard.
HR9: Total number of incidents or violations involving rights of indigenous people and actions taken.
AngloGold Ashanti is mindful of the specific considerations that need to be taken into account regarding Indigenous Peoples. The company has participated in the development of a position statement on Indigenous* Peoples developed under the auspices of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and supports the council’s position statement on Indigenous Peoples, which was approved during 2008. A standard in line with this position statement will be approved by the Executive Committee during 2011. No specific incidents or complaints in respect of indigenous peoples were recorded during the year.
* Indigenous Peoples: In keeping with international convention the term “Indigenous Peoples” is used in a generic sense to refer to distinct social and cultural groups possessing the following characteristics in varying degrees:
- self-identification as members of a distinct indigenous cultural group and recognition of this identity by others;
- collective attachment to geographically distinct habitats or ancestral territories and to the natural resources in these habitats and territories;
- customary cultural, economic, social, or political institutions which are separate from those of the dominant society or culture; and
- an indigenous language, often different from the official language of the country or region.
This core indicator is categorised under the GRI aspect of corruption.
Employees are informed of the company’s values, policies and procedures at engagement and regularly thereafter. In 2010, training was conducted in Ghana and at the corporate office in South Africa. However, the percentage of employees trained in this way is not currently recorded, and is challenging to record given the complexity of the company’s operations and the difficulty of fully addressing this requirement across a broad spectrum of employees. We will be addressing this challenge and anticipate over the longer term that we will be able to report more fully against this indicator. Under the current system if concerns arise, employees are encouraged to discuss these with their direct managers first where this is appropriate and, if not resolved or where management is involved, to report these through the whistle-blowing line or directly to the internal audit or legal departments. Risk assessment processes incorporate risks relating to corruption.
In addition, policies relating to the delegation of authority have been implemented and compliance to a disciplinary code of conduct is anticipated. All reports made in terms of the whistleblowing are administered by a third party, which ensures all reports are treated confidentially or anonymously, according to the preference of the caller. Feedback on reports is given when requested. A report is provided quarterly to the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee and to our Executive Committee. The whistle-blowing line is accessible to all employees, in the most applicable languages and time zones.