The Guaju mine, in Paraíba, is certified by NBR 16001:2012 (Social Responsibility practices). Sustainability is a daily practice by the mine’s employees, with the main programs being Re-composition of Mining Areas, Production of Native Seeds, Environmental Education, Water Reuse and Environmental Monitoring.
The mine maintains an integrated management system guided by norms issued by ISO 14001:2004 (Quality practices), ISO 9001:2008 (Environmental practices), OHSAS 18001:2007 (Occupational Health and Safety practices), for which it provides a Compliance Statement based on norms issued by ISO/IEC 17.025-1:2005.
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 1.95 million seedlings and recovered more than 650 hectares while enabling Tronox 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.
Growing Native Seedlings
Our Guajú mine laboratory and nurseries can produce up to 60,000 seedlings per year and over 200 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.
The Environmental Rehabilitation Program developed by the Guajú mine is recognized nationwide, including by Ibama, which considers the program a model for dune recovery.
Elimination of Exotic Species
After most of the mined area is recovered, the Program returns to consolidated vegetation areas to remove exotic species (not original to the region, but necessary for the initial densification to attract fauna), bring the area’s flora closer to its native characteristics.
Production of Native Seeds
The Guajú mine has a laboratory and nurseries with a production capacity of up to 60,000 seedlings per year, of which are already reproduces more than 180 native essences.
In order to generate income and improve living conditions for the population, the mine maintains a native seedling program involving the community. Ten families were selected and receive training, inputs and technical assistance. Today, they are capable of producing over 40 plant species and are already responsible for meeting 80% of the mine’s demand.
The mine maintains a Water Reuse Program, which aims to reutilize the water used in the production of its fixed ore processing plants. 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:
1. Atmospheric Emissions
The entire fleet of diesel-powered equipment, own and third-party, operating at the mine is monitored for emissions of black smoke. Monitoring is done by measuring the colorimetric density of emissions by using the Ringelmann scale.
Equipment that issue smoke with a color density greater than 2 is immediately stopped for maintenance.
The mine operates a furnace that uses biomass as fuel for ore processing. Atmospheric emissions from this source are monitored with a portable gas meter. All measurements comply with the regulated limit according to the type of source and fuel being used.
2. Surface and Groundwater Quality
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.