According to a recent international study conducted by Unilever, one in three people would prefer to buy from brands they believe to contribute positively to social and environmental impact. It’s no secret that we’re becoming increasingly conscious of how the choices we make ― and the decisions we take ― affect the world at large, especially the environment. This holds true for every industry, particularly ones that mostly always leave the environment affected by their activities (the mining industry, for instance).
In recent years, the diamond mining industry has been subject to critical scrutiny due in part to its not-so-positive impact on the environment. Our environment has been adversely affected by indiscreet and unregulated diamond mining operations which have resulted in air and water pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, and displacement of the local population.
Diamond mining has less negative effects on the environment compared to others (such as gold mining), mainly because it does not use toxic substances. However, mining operations have led to disastrous effects on wildlife, with the construction of dams and re-routing of rivers leaving riverbeds exposed.
In severe cases, diamond mining could destroy entire ecosystems. Erosion could destroy the topsoil, rendering the land unsuitable for farming. In eastern Sierra Leone’s Kono district, thousands of pits were left behind in abandoned mining operations, which became a health hazard. They got filled up with water when rain fell, becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other disease vectors.
The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a very delicate ecosystem and is therefore regulated to protect the environment. Similarly, African countries like Botswana and Namibia have been able to successfully safeguard the environment from the negative effects of mining.
Apart from imposing strict regulatory practices, rehabilitation can be carried out on landscapes altered by diamond mining. In the countries mentioned above, land restoration is usually conducted when mining operations have been completed, so as to reverse the negative effects. In the Kono district, landscape has been restored whereas the land seemed damaged beyond repair at first.
Millennium Mining Corp. is a diamond mining company in Sierra Leone, established with the goal of making diamond mining eco-friendly and more sustainable by taking steps to conserve the environment and give back to the community.
This will be achieved through our Green Agenda initiative; a mandate to undertake mining activities in a manner that strives to mitigate or eliminate negative impacts and maximize positive impacts on the environment.
Millennium Mining is fully committed to responsible stewardship of natural resources and the ecological environment in a sustainable manner by:
- Establishing and monitoring objectives geared at preventing pollution through the implementation of practices and techniques to avoid, reduce or control the buildup and discharge of pollutants;
- Integrating environmental management into management practices throughout the Company;
- Minimizing the use of consumptive resources and promoting the reduction and recycling of waste products where possible;
- Rehabilitating disturbed land and protecting environmental biodiversity;
- Exercising prudence with critical ecological resources, especially when impacts are unknown or uncertain;
- Managing environmental risk in the workplace and surrounding areas;
- Complying with applicable legal requirements and with other requirements to which the organization subscribes and which relate to its environmental aspects;
- Training and educating employees in environmental responsibilities;
- Being transparent and constructive in interactions with stakeholders;
- Building the local community: schools, churches, housing;
- Obtaining Kimberley Process Certificates for all mined and exported diamonds to show they were mined legally and ethically.
It’s important to know that Millennium Mining employees and contractors play a fundamental role in achieving environmental objectives through:
- Taking ownership of, and participating in, environmental management programs and initiatives; and
- Integrating environmental concerns into everyday practices.
Running a Transparent Mining Process using Blockchain
According to Statistic Brain, Sierra Leone is second in the countries with the highest production of conflict diamonds, which is one percent of the world’s diamond production. It sits just behind Angola, which produced 2.1 percent in 2016. Conflict diamonds account for 15% of Sierra Leone’s diamond production.
The diamond industry has been plagued with a lack of transparency, with majority of people left wondering about the source of their diamonds. This will be effectively tackled by implementing blockchain technology to ensure a fully transparent and auditable mining process.
Blockchain technology is currently the world’s most disruptive innovation. It enables seamless transfer of value on decentralized networks without compromising the integrity of information. It will be used to connect token owners to real-time mining data, and also to securely store transactions validated by smart contracts. We implemented smart contract functionality on our platform for transparent validation of financial transactions and logging of time used during the entire diamond industrial process, from the sale to the token conversion.
The consensus protocol will be published on GitLab before the crowdsale, under an open-source (MIT) license for the code and a Creative Commons license for the documentation. It is free to use, and it can be implemented in any industry which produces goods and services.
In our case, the diamond extraction success will be timestamped through a regularly audited process and logged on the blockchain for the public to review. This ensures a fully transparent and auditable mining process in real-time, which would be accessible forever.
The goal is to provide ICOIN token holders with detailed insight into where and how their tokens are being spent. Our timestamping and auditing process and security is assured by:
• Hiring G4S to secure the site and processing areas
• Strict personnel training
• 24-hour video surveillance and monitoring
• Conducting monthly, quarterly, and annual financial audits through KPMG
The effects of unregulated diamond mining over the years has created a strong need to protect the environment at all costs. Millennium Mining Corporation aims to be a major industry player in the diamond mining industry by implementing blockchain technology for the production of sustainable and eco-friendly diamonds.
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