Xstrata is a major diversified metals and mining group, listed on the London and Swiss stock exchanges with its headquarters in Zug, Switzerland. The Group employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, in Australia, South Africa, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Peru and the UK. Xstrata is the world's largest producer of export thermal coal and ferrochrome and maintains a meaningful market position in the production of coking coal, copper, zinc, lead, silver, gold and vanadium.
HIV/AIDS is more than simply a health issue; it also has social, cultural and financial effects for Xstrata, its employees and the wider community. We estimate that around 20 percent of employees in our South African business are HIV positive, making this the most significant health issue that Xstrata faces. To tackle this problem in a meaningful and sustainable way, Xstrata has adopted a strategic risk management and intervention approach. As part of this approach, Xstrata's initiatives address the underlying factors which contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS, including the elimination of single sex hostels, provide education and medical treatment for employees and their families and include a voluntary counselling and testing programme currently being rolled out. Our strategy has been developed in consultation with our employees, their families, local government and external experts, and is supported by a cost-benefit analysis.