HSSE by Gem Diamonds, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Indonesia | Print |

Gem Diamonds’ sustainable development program includes commitments to health, safety, Corporate Social Responsibility and the environment, which it collectively calls HSSE. Its HSSE policies include minimising risk to people, assets and the environment in which the firm operates; fostering mutual respect and establishing long-term and sustainable relationships between the company and surrounding communities; and ensuring that the company will make a sustainable contribution to the countries and communities affected by its operations.

In the health sphere, a number of malaria cases were recorded during 2007 at the firm's sites in the Democratic republic of Congo, making it the most significant health issue for the Central African region. In order to speed up diagnosis and subsequent treatment, the company purchased CyScope malaria testing machines for all sites in Central Africa. Detailed malaria prevention plans, which include the distribution of prophylaxis, were also instituted at all the affected sites. None of the group’s other operations units recorded any significant health issues.

The prevalence rates for HIV/AIDS have not yet been established for the entire workforce, however, in accordance with best practice, voluntary testing, treatment and counseling programmes are made available at all operations. These programmes are also accessible to the local communities. At the company’s Letseng mine in Lesotho a detailed HIV/AIDS management strategy is in place. This includes, but is not limited to: awareness coaching; free testing and counselling; and distribution of free condoms.

In environmental issues, there was the construction of two eco-tourism resorts in the Khubelu River valley near Letseng in Lesotho. The resorts will supply a sustainable source of income to the local community who will be responsible for managing them.

Other CSR projects include the provision of university sponsorships for five Basotho students at South African universities; the construction of two schools, two community clinics and five houses at three villages near to the operations in the DRC; the upgrading and construction of various rural roads, bridges and pontoon river crossings in the south of the DRC; upgrades to the local school in the CAR; the upgrading and construction of a rural road and a bridge in the CAR; and the construction of a community centre, renovations to the community school as well as donations of sewing machines and farming equipment for the establishment of small businesses in Indonesia’s South Kalimantan province.

During 2008 an independent organisation computed the group’s carbon footprint and to recommend additional areas of improvement. All operations are required to compile and implement an appropriate waste management plan that consistently strives to reduce the waste that is sent to active landfill. The operations seek to recycle as much waste as is practical and where possible all purchase contracts include a ‘buy-back’ clause, wherein the supplier agrees to take/buy back the used items.

Contact details:

Gem Diamonds Limited

2 Eaton Gate

London SW1 W9BJ

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 203 043 0280

Fax: +44 203 043 0281