Ethics, Human Rights and Compliance

The Group wants to be known for honest and transparent business practices that respect human rights and the law. We have therefore strengthened our systems to control our own internal procedures.

Antofagasta Minerals has established a number of policies, procedures and reporting channels as part of its drive to undertake business in a responsible and transparent manner. These include the creation of a Code of Ethics and an Ethics Committee to oversee it, establishing a whistleblowing procedure and a crime prevention model, and the training and communication to implement this.

This compliance model, which applies both to employees and contractors, is available on the website and is constantly updated using internal communication channels. All agreements with contracting partners include ethics and crime prevention clauses.

Antofagasta Minerals also has internal regulations that govern its daily operations, such as a Charter of Values and guidelines on several areas of possible regulatory infringement. The latter include Conflicts of Interest (applicable to employees, contractors and suppliers), Gifts and Hospitality, Commercial Relations (for companies linked to politically exposed persons), Due Diligence, Facilitation Payments and Community Investments. The antitrust procedures and Ethics Committee’s bylaws, among others, are regularly reviewed.

The Code of Ethics1 was updated in 2016 and covers the Group’s dealings with shareholders, employees, authorities, communities, clients, suppliers and commercial partners. It sets out standards for a number of areas, such as conflicts of interest, information management,  bribery and corruption, as well as respect for human rights, local values and traditions and the rights of neighbouring communities.

The Code applies to all companies and projects in the Antofagasta Minerals group, in Chile and abroad.

The Ethics Committee investigates reports of non-compliance. It receives, hears and investigates all reports of irregularities, and decides on courses of action and whether to apply sanctions. It works to develop procedures to promote ethical behavior, as well as managing and overseeing the operating standards required by the Code of Ethics and other related regulations. It also establishes the promotion of these ideals and their integration into training processes.

1 Available at:

The Group has a crime prevention model in order to comply with anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws in the United Kingdom and Chile. This covers issues such as money laundering, terrorist financing, bribery, payoffs and handling stolen goods. It applies to all executives, employees and contractors. Given that anti-corruption laws are crossborder, the Group enforces the toughest standards, regardless of the country of operation. Currently it ensures compliance with the UK Bribery Act.

The Group has established clear channels of communication for anyone wishing to report any irregularities they may have encountered. These are available through the website, via email or by telephone, and can be made anonymously.

The Group also has mechanisms for formal and informal consultation and feedback, so that employees, contractors and communities can express concerns and submit complaints. All such reports are investigated and the conclusions presented to the Ethics Committee. In 2016, 67 reports related to the Code of Ethics were received through these channels. 

Read more about Whistleblowing

There is a comprehensive training programme to ensure that policies and procedures from the Compliance Model are fully understood and truly embedded in the organisation’s culture.

The programme emphasises the right to know and reinforces the skills needed for effective implementation.

Training methods are both face-to-face and via e-learning. In 2016, nearly 2,000 employees were trained via e-learning and seven compliance workshops were conducted for employees, with a further six for contractor company employees, which focused particularly on the Code of Ethics and the crime prevention model.

All new employees of the Group undergo an induction process during which all such policies are explained.

The aim of the annual compliance risk assessment is to identify, ensure and improve internal controls in order to prevent such risks.

The Group’s corporate audit programme addresses sustainability matters.

Audit management operates independently of management and reports directly to the Board’s Audit Committee.

The annual internal audit plan includes the assessment of ethics, safety and health, environmental performance and social responsibility - both at Group level and for each operation.

In 2016 an audit was carried out on the effectiveness of controls in key areas, such as the prevention of corruption, unethical practices and fatal accidents. It also examined the execution of the Somos Choapa initiative; and environmental management plans and the latter’s compliance with environmental commitments. 

As a result, the respective areas set up action plans to address any detected deviations from the controls and avoid or mitigate situations affecting people’s safety, compliance with regulations and the Group’s reputation or the continuity of operations. 

The audit team is responsible for ensuring internal controls are effective and performed as designed. The internal annual audit plan is based on the Group’s risk matrices and its operations. As a result of the audits, measures are proposed to address any control deficiencies.

The Group’s corporate policies and guidelines cover respect for the human rights of the various stakeholders and indigenous peoples, which are included in the Code of Ethics, and some of the issues are supervised by the Board’s Sustainability and Stakeholder Management Committee. These issues have also been incorporated into audits carried out by the Group.

In 2016, progress was made on incorporating matters covered under the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act (MSA) into the internal processes for supplier vetting and in contractual clauses.

In January 2017, Antofagasta plc published its MSA statement including its action plan. The subject of human rights was also included in the audits carried out by the Group on its operations, and in the employee induction and e-learning programmes.

To ensure adequate community protection in case of emergencies, Los Pelambres worked with the Caimanes community to develop a contingency plan involving potential evacuation of the community.

More information at

Antofagasta Minerals guarantees its respect and compliance with its commitments undertaken within the framework of Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) concerning indigenous peoples, as well as the recommendations of the ICMM. Of its four operations, only Zaldívar has contact with indigenous peoples at its water source close to Peine, which is located within the Indigenous Development Area known as “Atacama la Grande”.

The aim of these workshops is to consolidate the Group’s Compliance Model and to create awareness among employees about the impact of these actions on the business’s daily activities. Such face-to-face meetings examine practical cases that help illustrate these complex topics.

During 2016, seven compliance workshops were attended by nearly 300 people.


Annual Report 2017