Cement firm’s carbon reduction efforts acknowledged

    Cement group AfriSam’s carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction efforts, dubbed ‘Project Green Cement‘, were recognised during the 2010 Nedbank Capital Green Mining Awards, which took place on Thursday evening, where the company scooped the award in the environmental category.
    Between 2000 and 2009, AfriSam managed to reduce its CO2 emissions by more than 30%, to an average of 634 kg for every ton of cement produced, notwithstanding an overall cement production increase of more than 50% over the same period.
    In 2009, AfriSam also became the first company in the world to introduce a CO2 rating system on all of its cement bags.
    Sustainability projects pursued by Lonmin, Exxaro, De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM) and BHP Billiton were also recognised at the function.
    “It is extremely pleasing to see how seriously mining companies are taking their commitment to reducing their impact on the environment, uplifting their communities, and ensuring that sustainability has a critical bearing on everything they do,” Nedbank Capital joint-head of mining and resources Peter van Kerckhoven said.
    The joint winners in the socioeconomic award category were Lonmin’s Thusong service centre and Silindini bridge, and Exxaro’s Zikulise small and medium enterprise (SME) development and skills training centre, while BHP Billiton’s Dreamfields project was named the runner-up in this category.
    The Thusong service centre, which has been developed in the Engcobo area of the Eastern Cape, was built by the local community and funded by Lonmin. It provides office space for weekly visits by several government agencies such as the South African Police Service, the Social Security Agency, as well as the departments of Home Affairs, Health and Agricultural.
    Lonmin also designed and funded the construction of the Silindini bridge across the Xuka River, to improve access, safety, and mobility of villagers who need to cross the river for a range of activities, including schooling.
    Exxaro’s Zikulise SME development and skills training centre is situated in the Umthlatuze district of KwaZulu-Natal, in the same region as the Richards Bay Coal Terminal.
    The centre was created to stimulate the development of sustainable SME’s through skills transfer, training, advice and mentorship. The SMEs created and supported by the centre include beading and sewing, arts and crafts, cleaning, baking and jewellery making.
    BHP Billiton’s Dreamfields project, launched in 2007, involved the provision of resources to encourage playing of soccer in rural and township schools. The three components of the project – DreamBags, Dream Events and Dreamfields – focus on ensuring that the necessary resources reach remote corners of the country.
    The winner in the sustainability category was the De Beers Diamond Route, with Exxaro’s eco housing project announced runner-up.
    De Beers’ Diamond Route, was initiated in 2002, and is a partnership between E Oppenheimer & Son and DBCM. It focuses on skills development, education, research, monitoring and tourism development to deliver environmental and socio-economic benefits to communities around E Oppenheimer & Son and De Beers conservation areas.
    Focused on nine properties, the benefits are experienced at different levels, including schools, universities, mines, research and development, local communities and the general public.
    Exxaro’s ecohousing project, situated in the Lephalale area of Limpopo Province, and combines green building designs, renewable energy sources and water conservation technologies in an affordable mixed housing model.