Given the fast-evolving global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anglo American is providing an update on how it is responding to protect the health and wellbeing of its people, whilst maintaining business continuity.
First and foremost, Anglo American is abiding by the advice from the government and health authorities in its different operating jurisdictions in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anglo American is also implementing additional measures across its offices and operations, guided by the World Health Organisation and national public health authorities.
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “We are taking all appropriate measures, often tailored to the specific nature and location of a particular site, to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and all those who interact with our business around the world.
“The nature of our business is such that much of our work cannot be done remotely, so our focus is on reducing the risk of the virus spreading into and across our sites. Operational continuity is critical for jobs, for the communities around our operations and for the local and global economies. Our sites and offices therefore have escalation plans to accommodate the ongoing impact of the pandemic and these will continue to be revised as the situation evolves.
“We recognise that this is a fast changing and stressful situation for everyone and we know that we all have our part to play to help each other through the pandemic and be ready for when we emerge on the other side.”
Anglo American has a designated senior multi-disciplinary team in place that is monitoring the situation across our operating countries and sites to update our decisions in response to the disease and to plan for a range of scenarios. This team provides advice to the operating businesses and provides regular updates to Anglo American’s Chief Executive and Group Management Committee.
Currently all our mines are operational, with no material impact on production, and our supply chains are functioning well as a result of ongoing proactive engagement with our key supply partners. At certain operations, such as those in Chile, we are taking measures to temporarily reschedule operational work in order to help reduce the density of people on site and with it reduce the probability of the virus spreading. Such actions are designed to minimise any impact on our production volumes and on our deliveries of metals and minerals to customers.
Across our business as a whole, our approach is to take measures to help safeguard our people from the spread of COVID-19, while ensuring we are able to continue the day-to-day business of Anglo American. These measures include:
- Regular communications with employees on all guidelines, restrictions and best practice hygiene and health recommendations;
- Working from home (in many countries), where possible or required or, for certain offices, strict segregation rotas;
- Restrictions on all new and existing work-related international travel;
- Across most of our corporate offices, employees who want to work remotely can choose to do so, especially if pregnant or at risk, or caring for children, the elderly or vulnerable;
- Restrictions on non-essential visits to operating sites;
- Intensified cleaning at offices and sites;
- Social distancing measures at operating sites, including in team meetings, canteens and accommodation;
- Temperature screening of those entering certain of our offices and sites, with extension to other offices and sites being examined;
- Enhanced health benefits – and addressing the gaps that exist in public health infrastructure around key operating assets in certain jurisdictions – to keep employees healthy and productive and to ensure that sick employees are treated; and
- Identifying appropriate support for host communities to help prevent and manage COVID-19 infection.
Mark Cutifani added: “Global markets are reflecting the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 through unprecedented volatility. This tends to mask the fundamental drivers of supply and demand, which we believe remain robust in the medium and longer term for the metals and minerals that we produce. As certain countries recover from the pandemic, we expect to see economic activity ramp back up, supported by stimulus from governments and central banks.”
Anglo American has transformed the performance and resilience of its business in recent years, contributing to its strong financial position. As reported on 20 February 2020, Anglo American had a net debt of $4.6 billion at 31 December 2019 and liquidity of $15.0 billion, including $6.3 billion of cash. Anglo American will continue to manage its business in the best interests of its shareholders and its stakeholders across the value chain, from its employees to customers.