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Waste management and pollution prevention

All our operations and facilities control risks associated with hazardous substances, effluents, wastes and emissions to prevent pollution.

Prevention of pollution is a key commitment for ISO 14001 certified operations and we seek to understand and manage potential pollution sources.

We have two main waste streams – non-mineral waste, comprising a range of waste and recycling/re-use streams, and mineral waste in the form of fine and coarse residues.

Non-mineral waste is separated at source to ensure appropriate disposal and recycling. Other than recycling, disposal methods include landfill and incineration.

Although diamond mining is mostly a physical process and does not require the use of hazardous substances, elements of the treatment process for diamond-bearing ore do use hazardous substances under controlled conditions.

Hazardous waste produced is either responsibly stored onsite for future management or disposed of at certified hazardous waste sites. Hazardous waste from our operations in Botswana is disposed of through facilities in South Africa, moved in full compliance with the Basel Convention on trans-boundary transportation.

For mineral waste, at each active operation, an external operator handles the fine residue deposits, and an independent legal assurance provider is also appointed. Every three months, there’s a site visit and review, involving a multidisciplinary team of internal and external specialists to oversee adherence to policy, legal compliance, and environmental, safety and technical aspects. The rigour of the reviews has increased in the past few years.

There is no riverine tailings disposal. Submarine tailings disposal occurs from land and at sea in Namibia in accordance with the Responsible Jewellery Council requirements.


Total weight of waste by type and disposal method

Waste is reported through separate indicators both in mass and volume, rather than through conversions.

 Waste type

 Unit of measure

2014

2015

2016

Non-hazardous waste

To legal landfill - volume (m3)

 67,929.0

127,841.21

73,643.0

To legal landfill - mass (tonnes)

 3,088.5

12,159.57

9,361.2

Hazardous waste

To legal landfill - volume (m3)

Not reported

5,803.3

3,030

To legal landfill - mass (tonnes)

 880.0

8,398.2

1,760.2

Liquid hazardous waste - volume (L)

 1,023,922.0

1,315,791.4

2,199,636.0

Medical waste disposed of (not incinerated) - mass (tonnes)

0.2

0.2

0.02

Incineration

Non-hazardous waste - mass (tonnes)

 742.8

749.5

1,218.8

Hazardous waste to incineration - mass (tonnes)

 308.4

192.46

370.6

Medical waste to incineration - mass (tonnes)

 62.6

32.5

45.6

Waste incinerated – volume m3

3,456.20

40,593.60

137,362.71

Cardboard/paper sent for recycling (tonnes)

Mass (tonnes)

 141.3

154.5

219.5

Scrap metal (including cans) sent for recycling

Mass (tonnes)

 161,732.52

8,181.0

10,722,507

Conveyor belting sent for recycling

Mass (tonnes)

 116.0

143.7

0

Drums sent for recycling/re-use

Number

 5,042

4,369

5,226

Lead acid batteries sent for recycling/re-use

Number

2,2963

2,333

1,835

Plastic sent for recycling/re-use

Mass (tonnes)

 44.9

29.4

63.25

Toner/ink cartridges sent for recycling/re-use

Number

 2,134

2,977

1,407

Used oil/grease sent for recycling/re-use

Volume (L)

 3,190,949

2,094,474

1,855,196

 Used oil for combustion

 Volume (L)

 346,227

148,043

162,000

1 These figures are typically highly variable depending on waste projects.
The increase is a result of the closure of Namaqualand.
3 Restated from previously reported figures in the 2014 Report to Society