De Beers Group Head of Technical Services, Burger Greeff officially launches the Sustainability Resource Centre

Debswana Diamond Company’s recently launched Sustainability Resource Centre (SRC) is applying a holistic approach to achieve its goal of zero harm across its Orapa, Letlhakane and Damtshaa mines in Botswana.

With its ‘Put Safety First’ strategy, the company continuously pursues 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,” says Molosiwa.

“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 highlights that the SRC facility has been designed to include ‘seeing’, ‘doing’ and ‘discussing’ the various aspects of environment, community, occupational health and safety (ECOHS) on the mines.

This will allow best practice to be effectively displayed and understood by employees, contractors and visitors, including the Fatal Risk Control Standards (FRCS). E-learning plays an important role in the facility, with 20 workstations available for self-induction.

“Employees gain exposure through being shown both ‘best’ and ‘bad’ practice displays as part of their induction,” he says.  

The scope of environmental management aspects of this learning process extends to energy conservation, water-saving and waste management. The facility itself includes solar water heating devices, for instance.

The energy-saving impact of this technology is 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 just a few pockets of greenery – is also an important practical demonstration of how water can be better conserved.

The SRC also showcases facilities for proper 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 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.