Our Guajú mine in the state of Paraíba has management systems certified for ISO 14001: 2004 (Quality Practices), ISO 9001: 2008 (Environmental Practices), OHSAS 18001: 2007 (Occupational Health and Safety) and NBR 16001: 2012 (Social Responsibility practices). Mine employees work to ensure sustainability, in particular through programs for recovering the mined area, environmental education, water reuse and environmental monitoring.
The Environmental Recovery program developed by our Guajú mine is recognized nationwide, including by government agency Ibama, which recognizes the program as a model for restoring dunes. It has planted 1.6 million seedlings and recovered 560 hectares while enabling Cristal to revive environment characteristics and restock it with local fauna and flora. Our aim is for the area to be as close as possible to its native forest state.
Of the total number of seedlings planted, some 20% are grown on our own site in the mine area. The other 80% is produced by the local community through a program whereby the company trains people, supplies inputs and purchases the seedlings they produce, thus generating income for the local community.
Insect, bird, mammal and reptile populations are visibly being rebuilt in the replanted areas.
Eliminating exotic species
Much of the mined area has already been recovered and the program is now returning flora to its native state by removing exotic species (those not native to the region, but used to reach the initial level of density required to attract fauna) in consolidated areas of vegetation.
Growing Native Seedlings
Our Guajú mine laboratory and nurseries can produce up to 60,000 seedlings per year and over 180 native species are being cultivated.
In order to generate income and improve living conditions for the population, the mine has a program producing native seedlings in the community. Ten families were selected for training and access to agricultural inputs and technical advice. They are now able to grow more than 40 plant species and their production supplies 80% of the mine’s requirements.
Our mine reuses water required for industrial processes in order to minimize depletion of non-renewable natural resources. In 2007 a system was introduced to enable the mine to directly or indirectly reuse over 90% of water uptake for its production process. The system is designed to avoid using additional energy while reusing materials that would otherwise be discarded.
This reuse program reduces the plant’s uptake from the Guajú river headwaters, which is authorized by Brazil’s Water Agency (ANA), and therefore reduces effluent volume.
The Guajú mine’s environmental monitoring program tracks and controls impacts arising from the operation and ensures that atmospheric emissions remain within limits determined by current legislation.
Control parameters for surface and groundwater are also measured and assessed for compliance.
The plant’s operating license also determines emission control parameters and sampling frequency:
Emissions from all company and contractors’ diesel-powered vehicles and equipment operating at the mine are monitored and their colorimetric density is measured on the Ringelmann scale.
Any engines emitting smoke of colorimetric density greater than 2 are stopped and scheduled for maintenance.
The mine’s ore treatment process uses a biomass-fired furnace. Atmospheric emissions from this source are monitored by portable gas meters. All measurements must comply with regulatory limits for this type of source and the fuel used.
Surface and Underground Water
The mine operates a monitoring network consisting of 14 sampling stations positioned around the company’s direct influence area.
These stations track the quality of groundwater and surface water as well as potable water supplied for staff and employees.
All surface and groundwater parameters are within official limits, including potability requirements.