Anglo American on Thursday said it has secured a $100 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to assist communities close to its SA mining operations by creating jobs and improving education quality for thousands of students.
The 10-year loan agreement is linked to the delivery of sustainability goals that are integral to Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan.
“This 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,” Anglo American.
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.
Anglo American said this includes “promoting the creation of jobs as well as improving the quality of education for more than 73 000 students”.
Stephen Pearce, Finance Director of Anglo American, 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.”
Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan includes targets to support schools in our host communities to perform within the top 30 percent of state schools nationally and to create or support three offsite jobs for every onsite job at our operations by 2025.
Jonathan Samuel, Anglo American’s Group Head of Responsible Business Partnerships, said: “To achieve our education target, we will aim to strengthen the public education system by training educators, practitioners, and school management teams”.
Samuel said the Group also aimed to upgrade basic school infrastructure and equipment including providing Wi-Fi and computers at over 100 primary and secondary public schools in South Africa.
“We are already supporting more than 73 000 students from early childhood development centres, primary schools and secondary schools, with more children to benefit in Phase 2 of the programme,” said Samuel.
“To achieve our livelihood target we plan to provide mentorship, capacity building, skills development and access to finance to small businesses in the mining value chain and in other sectors, with a focus on women and young people.
“Since 2018, we have supported over 13 500 jobs and facilitated R430 million of loans to small businesses in South Africa through Anglo American’s Zimele Loan Fund.”
Kevin Njiraini, IFC’s Director for Southern Africa and Nigeria 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.”