Sustainable development

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Anglo American in Zimbabwe

Anglo American in Zimbabwe

Anglo American and its subsidiary companies have invested in Zimbabwe for 60 years. The Anglo Platinum Unki project, in development since 2003, is a long-term investment that will not produce saleable concentrate until the third quarter of 2010 at the earliest. The company is gravely concerned by the human- rights abuses and the political situation in Zimbabwe and is monitoring developments closely and reviewing options surrounding the development of Unki. The Zimbabwean government has made it clear that if Anglo Platinum ceases to develop the mine, then it risks expropriation and the re-allocation of its assets to others.

Anglo American has debated at great length whether the continuance of the project has had any material impact on the continuance of the present political and humanitarian situation – and has concluded that it has not. The in-country construction costs have been largely funded from funds already trapped within the country and large capital equipment is purchased offshore – thereby avoiding importing significant sums of foreign exchange into the country. Moreover, in advance of producing concentrate, Anglo Platinum is not paying material amounts of tax or royalties and so has not helped to sustain the regime.

Conversely, Anglo American believes it has a responsibility to protect the well-being of up to 900 employees and contractors, their families and those who depend indirectly on the project, all of whose livelihoods will be jeopardised should Anglo Platinum withdraw from Zimbabwe.

The development of the mine will create a viable business in the long term, an important factor in the eventual reconstruction of the Zimbabwean economy. Anglo Platinum supports the communities around the project through the provision of basic foodstuffs and supplies, water and financial assistance to schools and health facilities. In addition, Anglo American has donated $100,000 to cholera-relief efforts through the Red Cross and is providing new sets of plumbing rods for local towns. Scaw Metals also has a wire rope factory in Zimbabwe, which employs almost 200 people.