AngloGold Ashanti says all its gold is ‘conflict-free’

Published Jun 4, 2024


Amid concerns that conflict minerals, including illegally mined and smuggled metals such as gold and diamonds could be fuelling human rights abuses in Africa, AngloGold Ashanti has said that all of its operations are “conflict-free”.

Last week, Swissaid said in a new report that as much as $35 billion (R657bn) worth of gold is smuggled from Africa each year, with experts worried that some flows from this are being used to fund conflicts and related rights abuses.

In Africa, AngloGold Ashanti has gold properties in Ghana, Guinea, the DRC, and Tanzania.

“We concluded that we did not breach any international sanctions and that none of our mines or transport routes are located in conflict-affected or high-risk areas,” AngloGold Ashanti said yesterday.

AngloGold Ashanti said while parts of the DRC are ranked as escalated to a full-scale war under the 2022 Heidelberg Institute’s Conflict Barometer, its Kibali mine operations were not located in the conflict zones.

The Kibali mine operations are managed by AngloGold Ashanti’s joint venture partner, Barrick Gold Corporation.

“Furthermore, the 2022 Heidelberg Institute’s Conflict Barometer has de-escalated Brazil from limited war to violent crisis as a result of the ongoing drug-trafficking conflict which is prevalent in the country,” the company said.

“This conflict has not directly impacted our operations, as the risk is mainly centred around drug trafficking in the country and concentrated around major cities.”

It said while processing of gold concentrate was suspended at the Queiroz plant in Brazil during 2023, the refining activities at the plant were not impacted by the temporary suspension.

But contrary to prior years, no externally sourced gold or gold-bearing material were processed or treated at the refinery in the Queiroz plant in 2023.

The company had also factored in an appropriate management statement, with conformance processes in place through certifications provided to the refineries the company deals with.

“No deviations from conformance with this part of the Conflict-Free Gold Standard (CFGS) arose during the reporting period,” AngloGold Ashanti said.