International Council on Mining & Metals sharpens focus on water stewardship
The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), whose members include 23 of the world’s leading mining companies, announced new commitments on water stewardship to help tackle one of the biggest global challenges of the 21st century.
With more than 1.2 billion people living in areas of water scarcity and natural habitats under increasing threat, ICMM recognises that industry can play an important role in tackling this global issue.
ICMM member companies, which account for around a third of global mining activity, pledged action to support the responsible use of water with the launch of ICMM’s water stewardship position statement.
The position statement is binding on ICMM members and requires them to: apply strong and transparent water governance (including robust public reporting); manage water at operations effectively; and collaborate to achieve responsible and sustainable water use.
ICMM will continue to develop guidance and toolkits to support effective water stewardship which will be available to the wider mining industry as well as other industry sectors.
Tom Butler, ICMM’s CEO said: “Our members have shown real leadership in adopting a firm commitment to water stewardship. Society will not be able to meet the sustainable development challenges of the 21st century without improving the management and use of global water resources. As an industry we have a leading role to play in contributing practical solutions to water resource challenges.
“Water is vital for local communities, the natural environment and for businesses so leadership on water stewardship is required from all parts of society. We are pleased to be playing our part and we are happy to share our work with other sectors and the wider mining industry too.”
Stuart Orr, WWF International’s Practice Lead for Water said: “ICMM's continued push and progress on water stewardship is commendable. This isn't just raising the bar and expectations within the mining sector but across all business sectors. They would do well to follow.”
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AngloGold Ashanti establishes BG Umoja JV in Tanzania
AngloGold Ashanti, in line with it s strategy to ensure a sustainable contribution to the economies of host countries, has established the BG Umoja joint venture (JV), in Tanzania.
Awarded a $186m two-year mining contract for the Nyankanga and Geita Hill underground mining projects, the 80/20 joint venture is a partnership between Africa Underground Mining Services (AUMS) Tanzania, a subsidiary of Australia’s Perenti Group, and local drilling services and mining- supply company, Geofields Tanzania Limited.
The partnership is modelled on a similar underground mining joint venture at the Company’s Obuasi Redevelopment Project in Ghana between AUMS Ghana and Accra-based, wholly Ghanaian-owned Rocksure and will help build local specialised mining capacity.
“We’re working with our experienced mining contractors to assist in establishing local joint ventures for long-term transfer of sustainable skills, and to continue building on our sustainable local procurement programmes,” commented Sicelo Ntuli, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer: Africa.
“AngloGold Ashanti is building sustainable local procurement programmes that will allow it to stimulate economic and social development at all of its operations, evidenced by the significant contribution Geita has made to the fiscus and people of Tanzania.”
AngloGold Ashanti’s annual expenditure with indigenous Tanzanian suppliers has almost tripled to $162mn since 2016. The company’s local team in Tanzania has set itself an ambitious target of 60% to 70% of all expenditures with indigenous Tanzanian companies, by 2025.
Scope 3 Emissions
In addition, AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita Gold Mine has awarded a two-year fuel transportation contract, worth approximately $10.8m a year, to two local contractors - one of which is originally from Geita. This is in line with the mine’s commitment to contribute to the economies of host communities. The Geita-based company was part of Geita Mine’s supply chain capacity building initiative for host community suppliers, a partnership between the Mine and the National Economic Empowerment Council.
To influence Scope 3 emissions, trucks are to be compliant with EURO IV emissions standards, tankers are to be made of an aluminium alloy material to reduce weight and the age of the fleet will be maintained at less than six years.
Diversity & Inclusion
The contractors already employ women fuel tanker drivers, fulfilling the Mine’s requirements for diversity and inclusion. The two contractors both own workshop facilities in Geita town and participate in social initiatives aimed at uplifting the lives of host community residents.
AngloGold Ashanti has been operating at Geita Gold Mine for more than 20 years, with the project initially a single pit mine, evolving now to a predominantly underground operation, employing 5,700 employees and contractors.
Earlier this year, the Government of Tanzania recognized AngloGold Ashanti’s contribution to the economy of the country, awarding it for its outstanding performance in a number of areas, including environmental and safety performance, corporate social investment, the best taxpayer in the mining sector, the runners up in local business content and overall best performer in the mining sector in Tanzania in 2019/2020.
Geita Gold Mine
Geita, one of AngloGold Ashanti’s flagship mines, is located in north-western Tanzania in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Mwanza region, about 120km from Mwanza and 4km west of the town of Geita. It has been in operation as a large-scale mine since 2000.