De Beers Environmental Impacts

Topics: Diamond, De Beers, Debswana Pages: 5 (1894 words) Published: April 16, 2011
Unit Title:Communication in Business 100

Assessment:Critical Essay

Company:De Beers

Essay Title:Corporate Environmental Obligation:
An examination of the performance of De Beers

Student Name:Arkar Kyaw @ Kevin

Student Number:1160001

Semester:1 2011


Tutor:Simon Teoh

Corporate Environmental Obligation: An examination of the performance of De Beers Nowadays, diamonds are one of the most precious luxury items where people are purchasing for large sums of money without knowing the facts that the mining industries are affecting the natural environments around them. As more people are purchasing the diamonds, the more diamonds are produced from the factories and more negative impacts are resulted on the environment. For diamond companies like De Beers is recently engaging with the community and finding ways to reduce the amount of negative impacts on the environment such as energy use and emissions, waste and recycling, use of water and impact on biodiversity. This essay analyses the performance of De Beers specifically how the company is contributing to the environmental and communities. The aim of this paper is to show a balanced argument between positive and negative impacts affecting the environment and the company. The case against De Beers

De Beers is among the mining industries that are constantly dealing with the environmental challenges such as land disturbances, energy use and emissions, waste and recycling, use of water and the impacts on diversity (Alessandro Bertoni, MDBC 2011). Land disturbance is one of the key challenges because large numbers of soil from the earth are removed when extracting minerals from the underground. The company also admits that its industries’ actions are somewhat damaging the environment directly because of the necessities of accessing land and water resources. Almost all of the countries, mineral rights are possessed by the state and the lands are managed by the government as De Beers claim to recognize the fact that natural resources are provided by the national assets (David Van Wyk 2011) and the company has to use in an effective way and minimize the negative impacts so that there won’t be any conflicts between the company and the government. There are four types of mining processes to get the diamonds from the ground and those are open pit and underground mining, coastal and inland alluvial mining, marine mining and informal diamond digging (Alessandro Bertoni, MDBC 2011). Among those four processes, De Beers desires the method of open pit mining in Botswana because every diamond mines have different environment due to different geographical, social and ecological situation. In open pit mining, Kimberlite pipes (funnel-like tubes of rock) are mined to extract diamonds but because diamonds are located often way below the ground, the other minerals such as rock, sand and soil are suck out first in order to reach to the diamonds’ position. Ultimately, this drilling process could pose a threat to the existence of plants and animals inhabiting in that surrounding. For extraction, diamond mining uses large amount of water instead of chemicals (Alessandro Bertoni, MDBC 2011). Underground mining or open pit process required massive amount of water not only to cool machines, to wash gravel, and to supply potable water to the residents of the mining towns but also for the dewatering (David Van Wyk 2011) surrounding areas of open cast to facilitate the mining operation to manage in dry condition. In fact, most parts of the Africa are having a major compact of water scarcity including the area of Botswana. There is an analysis of water samples showing the signs of nitrate pollution which the quality of the underground resources might somehow affect by pollution. Even though the researchers are fail to explain how the water supplies got cut out to the surrounding communities, they still believe that this incident happen from...
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