Global mining giant, Anglo American has signed a US$100 million ten-year loan agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank linked to delivering sustainability goals that are integral to its sustainable mining plan.

The sustainability-linked loan is IFC’s first in the mining sector and is understood to be the first in the mining sector globally that focuses exclusively on social development indicators.

In a news release, the Group which has operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and Africa including in Zimbabwe where it operates the Unki Platinum Mine said the specific goals tied to the loan agreement are aimed at supporting community development in rural communities close to Anglo American’s mining operations across South Africa, including by promoting the creation of jobs as well as improving the quality of education for more than 73 000 students.

Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan includes targets to support schools in its host communities to perform within the top 30% of state schools nationally and to create or support three offsite jobs for every onsite job at its operations by 2025.

The development comes at a time when mining companies globally are being pushed towards sustainability goals for them to extract with responsibility, produce with less waste, use safer processes, incorporate new technologies, promote the wellbeing of local communities, improve environmental stewardship, and curb emissions in light of global warming and zero carbon emission target.

Commenting on the development, Anglo American Finance Director, Stephen Pearce said “Our Sustainable Mining Plan has a set of ambitious global goals relating to delivering a healthy environment, creating thriving communities, and being recognised as a trusted corporate leader.”

Pearce added, “We designed our goals to challenge us to lead and innovate in how we can best deliver meaningful and enduring value to society, and particularly to those nearest to where we operate. We are delighted to now link some of our education and job creation targets to this loan as an additional demonstration of our commitment to deliver real and tangible benefits for our host communities.”

IFC’s Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria, Kevin Njiraini said “Sustainability-linked financing is a powerful tool for mobilising capital and to incentivise companies that seek to contribute to a more sustainable future. IFC’s partnership with Anglo American will support quality education for early learners, strengthen human capital development, and boost small businesses in South Africa.”

This loan is part of a broader Anglo-American engagement with IFC on local social development, including in Peru where Anglo-American, IFC, and other partners are supporting regional development initiatives.

“This is a commendable move as sustainability should be top of the agenda of businesses and it needs to embed in every part of company operations,”  Equity Axis’ Editor, Raynold Mhotseka said adding that “The move should save as a yardstick for regional business operators, especially considering that Africa is lagging on this aspect and still don’t have a solution to the current climate math equation.”

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