As Anglo American continues to extend its reach across the globe and diversifies its mining asset base, the organisation is being reshaped to ensure we are able to meet the sustained demand for the commodities we mine.
A high degree of decentralisation through autonomous business units is making way for a new ‘One Anglo’ approach. This concept allows for greater sharing of talent, expertise and knowledge across the Group and, as a result, our culture is changing as we move towards becoming a single, integrated organisation.
One Anglo involves consistently applying a common framework of values and standards; putting the structures in place to foster greater knowledge-sharing; and leveraging our scale through shared services.
Nowhere is this integrated concept more important than in our approach to safety. The safety of all our employees is paramount. Our vision of ‘zero harm’, which was endorsed in 2007 by all our businesses and their leadership teams, is based on three clear principles: all injuries are preventable; all necessary steps must be taken to learn from incidents in order to prevent reoccurrence; and common, simple non-negotiable standards must be consistently applied.
Key to realising this vision is The Anglo Safety Way, a global framework of risk management systems and standards, which is being rolled out across the business. This is being supported by greater communication and cross-fertilisation of ideas and experiences around safety within and between the Group’s businesses, as well as other organisations in mining and related industries.
The increasing technological sophistication of mining, combined with a serious skills shortage in the current competitive market, has further underlined the importance we already attach to retaining our talent through appropriate reward, talent development and people management activities.
Several Group-wide One Anglo initiatives have provided impetus in these areas. The introduction of a broad banding system throughout the businesses underpins our move towards more consistent and competitive regional reward strategies and a common performance management process. It has also been a key enabler for the introduction of an improved talent tracking system, an integrated internal and external vacancy management system, and the development of Group-wide people information and shared services systems.
Our global leadership development portfolio has been extended during the year and going forward there will be an increased focus on common standards in terms of curriculum and delivery for all our management development programmes across the Group.
Applying common policies, processes and systems, as well as creating a One Anglo mindset among our employees, will also be delivered through our shared services initiative.
We will create three shared services centres based in existing offices in Asia Pacific, Latin America (serving the whole of the Americas) and South Africa (serving Africa and Europe). The centres will provide common accounting and employee services.
In-house technological capability augmented by strategic partnerships
In contrast to many mining industry peers, Anglo American for many years has been distinguished by its formidable in-house technical capacity, with the aim of maintaining a technological edge and, in doing so, enhancing shareholder value.
Based on two main internal units, Technical and Research, and enhanced by a range of partnered technologies, the Group has become an industry standard-setter in finding, extracting and refining minerals. For example, advanced airborne electromagnetic techniques and superconducting quantum interference devices have identified prospective mineral deposits; in partnership with external specialists, a new solvent-extraction and electro-winning process was developed to yield zinc ore; while robot laboratories (right) at Anglo Platinum’s concentrators and smelters have greatly reduced assay-assessment time.