Following media pressure in the UK and elsewhere, Anglo American has defended its investment in Zimbabwe. Anglo is to be commended on its position. Investment of this nature can be to the benefit of a great number of the country’s people, especially if that investment is controlled by a company like Anglo, a driver in the ICMM and a company with excellent sustainable development credentials. It would be wrong to cease such long-lead investments in the country. Zimbabwe will need projects like this to rebuild its economy once it rids itself of the Mugabe madman and returns to democracy.
The following statement is Anglo American’s response to media reports relating to its business activity in Zimbabwe. “Anglo American has been an investor in Zimbabwe for 60 years. The Unki platinum project in Zimbabwe, which has been in development since 2003, is a long-term investment for a mine which is yet to start production and will not generate revenues for some years. Anglo American is deeply concerned about the current political situation in Zimbabwe and condemns the violence and human rights abuses that are taking place. Anglo American is monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe very closely and is reviewing all options surrounding the development of the project. It has been made clear to Anglo American that if it ceases to develop this project, the Government of Zimbabwe will assume control.
“Anglo American has a clear responsibility to protect the wellbeing of its more than 650 employees and contractors, as well as their families and all those who depend indirectly on the activity around the project, all of whose livelihoods would be jeopardised should the company withdraw from Zimbabwe. The responsible development of the Unki mine will create a long-term viable business which will be important to the economic future of Zimbabwe for years to come. Anglo American continues to support the communities around the project with a number of important social development activities, including the provision of basic food and supplies, the building of a dam to help support agriculture through the reliable supply of water and the provision of financial and other assistance to the primary and secondary schools and community health facilities.
“Anglo American is in full compliance with all relevant national and international laws relating to its activities in Zimbabwe.”