Against the criticism by the Bench Marks Foundation (BMF) on how mining houses poorly engaged with communities, Anglo American Platinum Corporation (Amplats) yesterday said it believed in creating shared value for all its stakeholders “through our value-driven strategy”.
Amplats is the world’s leading primary producer of platinum.
BMF chairperson Bishop Jo Seoka has called on government and mining houses to undergo a major mindset shift to recognise the impact mining has on humanity and dignity of communities who reside near mining operations.
His comments during BMF’s annual conference in Johannesburg yesterday come in the wake of the recent tabling by the human rights and mining monitoring watchdog of a document titled Policy Gap 13 Coping with Unsustainability, Critical Analysis of Anglo American Platinum Corporation Sustainability Reporting from 2003 to 2015.
Amplats spokesperson Mpumi Sithole said BMF’s report contained “some valuable insights and recommendations, particularly with respect to quantification of social and environmental impacts”.
However, Sithole said the BMF report also contained “some unfounded conclusions and assessments of Anglo American Platinum’s contribution to positive economic, social and environmental impact”.
“Anglo American Platinum appreciates the prerogative of private citizens, nongovernmental organisations, government and civil society to criticise and comment on the economic, social and environmental performance of companies and other entities,” she said.
“The company has made great progress with regards to its community engagement initiatives, community spend, health and safety performance and environmental management during the reporting period reviewed by Bench Marks Foundation and beyond. This has been achieved despite the difficult financial conditions in which the company has operated in recent years.”
Sithole said engagements with key stakeholders created “substantial value for the company and consequently our stakeholders, and we value the continued engagement with the BMF”.