Strategy and management

STRATEGY AND MANAGEMENT

As the premier company in finding, mining, processing and marketing platinum group metals (PGMs), our strategy is to maximise value by understanding and developing the market for PGMs; expand our production into that opportunity when conditions allow; and conduct our business safely, cost-effectively and competitively.

STRATEGY

As the premier company in finding, mining, processing and marketing platinum group metals (PGMs), our strategy is to maximise value by understanding and developing the market for PGMs; expand our production into that opportunity; and conduct our business safely, cost-effectively and competitively. As a consequence of a reduction in the demand for platinum over the next decade (of about 2.5% per year), and of eroded profitability, the Company has had to refine its strategy so as to align its business with its expectations of long-term demand for its products.

Our overall strategy in driving a sustainable and competitive business requires us to:

  • understand and develop existing and potential markets
  • sustain and grow the business when conditions allow
  • conduct the business safely, cost-effectively and competitively
  • mine responsibly

Despite the recent changes in the mining environment in general and the platinum sector in particular, we will not deviate from these requirements.

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We shall, however, be modifying them in accordance with the need to reshape the Company so as to allow it to remain sustainable, competitive and profitable. (Please refer to the chief execurive’s review on page 2, and to the section entitled “Main issues in 2012”, on page 6 for more information.)

In terms of strategy, this report also covers the following: The safe and responsible (page 32) performance of our business; and aspects of our enterprise that enable it to grow (see the section on “People” on page 30). Further details on our strategy can be found on page 10 of the Annual Integrated Report.

For the Company to achieve its vision and strategy, it has to retain its societal licence to operate. The nature and extent of the social and environmental impacts from our mining activities carry with them obligations of respect for human rights, sound environmental management and ethical behaviour.

MANAGEMENT

Management systems at Amplats are designed to minimise costs, reduce risks, maintain legal compliance, uphold our values and execute our overall strategy.

The guidance offered by the relevant Company governance structures, the input from stakeholders and the outputs of risk management and materiality assessments are 
put into operation at the business unit (i.e. mine) level. They are embodied in a comprehensive suite of Anglo American documents that includes The Social Way and The Environment Way.

Each operation is accountable to the board for ensuring that attention is given to the implementation of our SD principles. The S&SD and the Social, Transformation & Ethics committees provide policy direction and monitor our performance in terms of its safety, health, environmental and social dimensions.

The Audit Committee is responsible for setting the direction for SD issues based on the organisation’s risk profile.

The executive management team relies on two dedicated corporate departments – Sustainable Development, and Safety, Health and the Environment (SHE) – to ensure that SD issues affecting the Company are properly addressed.

The Company integrates SD considerations into its management approach, which ensures that the following remain line-function duties: human rights; economic, environmental and labour practices; and societal and product responsibility.

The Company’s Corporate Affairs function is tasked with ensuring that social and community issues, lobbying and relations with Government are attended to in the day-to-day running of the business. Monthly committee meetings at the operations are used to facilitate and track the progress of impact assessments and the formulation of necessary management plans. Performance indicators relating to bribery, corruption, anti-competitive behaviour, undue influence in public policymaking and monopoly practices are addressed through our good citizenship business principles policy (see page 18).

We have policies in place concerning engagement and human rights, inclusive of security and resettlement. Security and human rights issues are dealt with through our Security Department, and our performance in this respect is recorded on page 51.

Emergency preparedness and recovery are formulated at Group level, and are integrated into both the ISO 14001 and the OHSAS 18000 management systems at each operation.

Targets have been set for all the individual areas that have been deemed of substantial importance for the organisation. These targets and our performance against them are shown on the inside front cover of this report.

We provide an assessment of our management interventions in the following three sections: people, society and the environment.

 

PROJECTS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

All mining operations begin their life as ideas based on a degree of evidence and encouraged by prevailing economic conditions. Before they can become working mines, therefore, they have to progress from the concept stage through the pre-feasibility and feasibility stages, and finally to the approval stage.

Progressing from stage to stage – from concept to feasibility and beyond – requires that each stage of the project should satisfy a number of criteria across a range of disciplines. Germane in this context are the criteria that fall within the auspices of the Safety and Sustainable Development Department; and those that fall under the Community Engagement and Development umbrella (also known as Government and Social Affairs). At each stage of the cycle, the project will be required to meet a number of environmental, safety and social hurdles before the project is able to move to the next stage. If the project is not able to satisfy these requirements, and the issues under consideration are serious (i.e. risks with high ranking), then the project may be shelved.

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