Debswana Diamond Company recently launched a Sustainability Resource Centre (SRC) to, it says, apply a holistic approach to achieving its goal of zero harm across its Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa mines in Botswana.
With its “Put Safety First” strategy, Debswana has been pursuing ways to improve the impact of its awareness raising and training interventions, according to Tefo Molosiwa, Head of Safety & Sustainability at Debswana.
“By using a combination of learning modes – theoretical and practical – the SRC delivers greater learning,” Molosiwa said. “For instance, while employees can learn the theory of how a bund wall must be maintained, there is now also an opportunity to practically clean spillage using the equipment provided.”
Molosiwa highlighted that the SRC facility has been designed to include the “seeing”, “doing” and “discussing” involved with the various aspects of environment, community, occupational health and safety on the mines.
The company said: “This will allow best practice to be effectively displayed and understood by employees, contractors and visitors, including the Fatal Risk Control Standards. E-learning plays an important role in the facility, with 20 workstations available for self-induction.”
Molosiwa added: “Employees gain exposure through being shown both ‘best’ and ‘bad’ practice displays as part of their induction.”
The scope of environmental management aspects of this learning process extends to energy conservation, water saving and waste management, according to Debswana. The facility itself includes solar water heating devices, for instance, with the energy-saving impact of this technology shared with all inductees to motivate adoption.
Water tanks at the SRC harvest rainwater from roof gutters, which is used for cleaning and watering gardens. The dry landscaping itself – featuring a few pockets of greenery – is also an important practical demonstration of how water can be better conserved, the company said.
The SRC also showcases facilities for effective waste management. “Animal-proof waste receptacles in the outside areas are examples of what the mining operations can adopt where appropriate. A bund wall for hydrocarbon management at the SRC demonstrates how the structure is optimally designed, developed and equipped,” Debswana said.
Debswana is one of Botswana’s largest private sector employers – with over 5,200 employees – and is jointly owned by the Botswana government and the De Beers Group of Companies. It is one of the world’s leading diamond producers by value and volume.