AngloGold Ashanti has said there is no higher priority for it than the safety of every one of its employees.
“It is a commitment that the company will continue to demonstrate across its global portfolio, including the world’s deepest mines that it operates in South Africa,” the miner said in a statement, adding that “over the past decade, AngloGold Ashanti has reduced operating fatalities by more than 80%.”
The company said over the same period, it has improved its all injury frequency rate, the broadest measure of workplace injuries, by more than two-thirds. “We will not relent in our endeavours to prevent harm to employees,” the company added.
“The improvements of the past decade have come through a focus on improved operating and safety systems and technologies, as well as an emphasis on ensuring that every person in the company place a greater focus on identifying and avoiding risk. In an environment where minor missteps can have catastrophic consequences, it is critical that we not only are relentless in identifying and eliminating hazards, but that we instil a culture that prizes safety above all else. We have made encouraging strides in that regard and will continue to look for ways to improve.
“Like in any heavy industry, and especially in a company like ours that employs more than 50,000 people globally, human error remains among our greatest challenges. This is an aspect of the business that we continue to work hard to mitigate in cooperation with a broad group of stakeholders.
“As AngloGold Ashanti has continually demonstrated, we value close cooperation with all role players in this industry, including our employees and our partners in organised labour, and also our regulator in the Department of Mineral Resources. We believe it is crucial to the wellbeing of every employee that this relationship is not only professional and respectful, but also tightly bound by the laws and regulations that govern the industry,” AngloGold said.
“We continue to seek dialogue with the DMR at every level, with the primary aim of improving safety and ensuring fair and proportional application of applicable safety legislation. Where there is disagreement, we will continue – as we have done — to use the proper appeal mechanisms and legal remedies available under the Mine Health and Safety act and associated legislation.
“We believe that through close cooperation among stakeholders and fair application of regulations with due regard to proportionality, as well as continued vigilance in an unpredictable operating environment, we can further improve on the safety gains made in the past decade,” it added.