Luanda, 17 September 2021: Between 16 and 19 September, Sociedade Mineira de Catoca will commission an investigative expedition to be conducted along the Tchicapa River to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it will collect samples at various points. The aim is to prove with laboratory data that no heavy metals leaked into the Tchicapa River and adjacent areas.
The area of assessment will be from Lunda Sul through Lunda Norte to the Congo border, along the river’s course. The purpose of this expedition is to measure the water quality, by collecting samples of sediments which dissolved in the water, which can then be chemically analysed. Further assessment will be made of the chemical composition of plankton, fauna monitoring (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, etc.) and others.
According to Sabino Coqueia, Head of the Occupational Safety and Environment Department of Sociedade Mineira de Catoca, “It is not possible that toxic products leaked from a Catoca tailings dam into the Tchicapa River and adjacent areas. Catoca does not use chemical products in its production process. Having retested each raw material used in our production process, we are confident that no toxic materials have leaked into the Tchicapa River.”
Sabino Coqueia said, “We take social responsibility seriously. Within our pre-existing social responsibility framework, we have shown a strong commitment to the preservation of the environment and will continue to do so. Voluntarily, we created a multidisciplinary team,including representatives from ministries, universities, provincial directorates, NGOs and independent laboratories. This team of independent experts will carry out scientific testing. Upon completion, we will make a public presentation detailing the results of the investigation.”
“At the time of the incident, Sociedade Mineira de Catoca immediately put in place a plan to assess the environmental impact from the tailings dam leak, constantly monitoring the ecosystem, biodiversity and water quality of the Tchicapa River. This monitoring allowed us to observe a marked and continuous improvement in the concentration of suspended solids, confirming no risks to the ecosystem, biodiversity or human populations.”
Regarding our own infrastructure, Sociedade Mineira de Catoca is analysing and reinforcing the stability of the containment dykes. In addition to existing protection systems, two more dams have been built and a third is under construction to filter suspended particles.
To mitigate any impact on the local community caused by disruption to fishing in the affected areas, Catoca has so far supported close to 200 families with essential foodstuffs, an action that falls squarely within our commitmentto social responsibility wherever we operate as a business.
About Sociedade Mineira de Catoca:
Located in Lunda Sul Province, Sociedade Mineira de Catoca is the fourth largest open pit mine in the world, responsible for over 75% of the country’s diamond production. Today, 26 years since it began, Catoca is the company which generates the most jobs in the private sector in Lunda Sul Province, generating more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs. This number could rise as Catoca explores new projects in the years ahead.