Integrated Annual Review 2012 Annual Financial Report 2012 Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Regional overview  

7.3.3 Security and human rights

During 2012, Gold Fields Protection Services (GFPS), was responsible for the effective and responsible protection of our people and assets. GFPS now falls under Sibanye Gold. Gold Fields is examining appropriate service delivery models to achieve the following objectives:

  • Ensure the safety and security of employees and contractors on site as well as protect our physical assets
  • Address illegal internal activity, including gold theft, fraud and other illicit activities
  • Address illegal external activity, including illegal gold mining (p149), cable theft and other illicit activities
  • Ensure the safety and security of our bullion despatches and cash escorts (including armed escorts in South Africa)

During 2012, GFPS personnel helped enforce good safety practices on our sites and participate in emergency response activities where needed.

We believe it is down to the high levels of professionalism within GFPS that – despite high levels of tension, strong inter-union rivalries and a number of non-fatal violent incidents between employees – the illegal mine strikes that affected our KDC and Beatrix operations between September and November (p139140) were ultimately resolved without any fatalities. Given the extreme sectoral and national context in which the strikes took place – and the large numbers of employees involved – we believe this is a singular achievement.

All GFPS personnel receive human rights training during induction. This is based on local legal requirements and both national and international human rights best practice. Where relevant, GFPS personnel are supported by public security organisations as well as private security contractors. GFPS ensures that the organisations they partner with are committed to upholding human rights and the rule of humanitarian law, including through training.

GFPS is also a signatory to the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. As a result, it is committed to respecting human rights and humanitarian law in its operations.

In addition, Gold Fields is implementing measures to prepare for the application of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.



Crisis management

In 2012, we established a Group-wide crisis management programme, which provides a senior management support framework for action planning and decision-making around the anticipation, prevention and response to crisis events, as well as post-crisis recovery. This includes the establishment of a Corporate Crisis Management Support Team, Regional Incident Response Teams and Emergency Response Teams.

Gold bullion from the Rand Refinery, South Africa

The programme is based on:

  • Isolation of crisis events from mainstream business and operational processes – including their management by a dedicated crisis team
  • Management of crises at a regional level – with support from on-the-ground incident management teams
  • Escalation of crisis situations – or potential crisis situations – according to predefined criteria
  • Clear allocation of roles and responsibilities

The programme has been supported by comprehensive training for all key personnel – as well as semi-live simulated crisis exercises in Australia and South Africa, which demonstrated the readiness of our crisis management team. The initiative proved its worth almost immediately, playing a key role in our response to:

  • The serious underground fire at a worked-out area of KDC’s Ya Rona shaft in June 2012, which resulted in five fatalities (p86)
  • The illegal strikes at Beatrix and KDC between September and November 2012 – and the associated risk of serious violence (p139140)

World Gold Council

Conflict-Free Gold Standard

The nature of gold – including the relative ease of extraction of shallow deposits, its high intrinsic value and its portability – means it is a potential source of finance for armed groups involved in civil conflict. The proportion of newly mined gold believed to be linked to the financing of conflict is believed to be very low, at less than 1% of annual gold production. Nonetheless, Gold Fields and its fellow World Gold Council members believe strong efforts are required to reduce this proportion even further and to ensure responsible gold production continues to generate socio-economic development in as wide a range of locations as possible.

Case study: Launch of the final WGC Conflict – Free Gold Standard