14 May 2020 3pm
Braúna, in the Brazilian state of Bahia, and within the municipality of Nordestina, is South America’s largest diamond mine and South America’s first kimberlite mine.
Lipari’s Braúna Mine operates with a workforce of 325 employees who are supported by approximately 65 contractors. Approximately 10% of our workforce are women from the local community. Most of our female employees work on our diamond recovery team, which is an all-female team with experience in the identification and selection of diamonds from the mineral concentrates produced at the mine. These highly trained professionals perform one of the most important roles in our production process.
The Braúna Mine has installed one of the most advanced water recovery systems in the diamond mining industry, where 95% of the water used during the processing of its ore is recovered and reused in the processing operation. With this technology, the mine operates without the need for a traditional tailings dam to store waste from the processing operation. In 2019 the State of Bahia in Brazil was awarded its top industry environmental award to Lipari in recognition of its industry-leading water recovery initiative.
In addition to the company’s efforts with water recovery and reuse, it also conducts an extensive monitoring program for local fauna and flora, noise levels, and regular measurements of water and air quality around the mine. These actions are aligned with the sustainability guidelines and especially with respect to the social context in which the company operates.
Lipari’s primary community investment programs are focused on educational initiatives which are often conducted in a partnership with State and Municipal governments, or non-governmental organizations. One of the company’s most recent initiatives is called “Projeto Florescer”, which provides after-school programs which are designed to strengthen the student’s learning process and supplement the education students receive from the local schools. This program currently involves over 100 children from the local community, including students from rural afro-brazilian communities. Lipari also provides support, in the form of donations such as books, uniforms, computers, sports and playground equipment. Lipari also funded the renovation of the local high school which involved the installation of air conditioning in each class room and the purchase and installation of computer equipment in the school’s new information technology laboratory.
While youth-oriented programs are Lipari’s main focus, the company also supports and operates educational programs focused on adult education. The company has developed an initiative called “Programa Impulso” which is focused on strengthening the qualification of the local workforce to strengthen the operation of local businesses and promote the establishment of new local business opportunities.
As the main employer in the City of Nordestina, Lipari forms a big part of the local community. The company provides financial support and organizational assistance to the local municipal government in almost all of its community initiatives, and regularly conducts meetings with key local stakeholders and community leaders to ensure that there is a transparent and open dialogue between the community and the company. The company holds quarterly visits to the mine for the key community leaders and stakeholders, so that they have a clear understanding of the company’s operations and goals. These meetings are crucial for the company as well as it provides an opportunity to discuss any concerns or impact that Lipari’s operation might have on the local community. The company also has a program called “Open Doors” which allows the family members of company employees to visit the mine and learn about its operation. This program has been extremely popular with our employees’ family, and the community at large, and provides an opportunity for the company to educate the local community on the benefits of the mining industry.