Aware of the importance of protecting our environment
The commitment to the environment has led us to implement the principles of the circular economy, a system of use of resources where wins the reduction of the elements:
- Investigate for new raw materials and applications, uses and sectors: it has gone from producing exclusively paper kaolins in the 80s, to a continuous search for new applications of the some ores and resulting wastes and tailings and at each historical stage.
- Betting on the reuse of the old wastes and tailings: the growing importance of mica and silica sands caused at the beginning of the century to recover and put in value ancient tailings and wastes that now become again mineral. Similarly, the sterile ones that CAVISA currently generates are carefully deposited in old mines and waste dumps so that, in the future, when a use for this type of material is determined, they can be recovered.
- Environmental and ecological regenerations, reconverting and revaluing spaces: short old ones converted into lakes, lagoons of importance in the fight against fires and freshwater reservoirs susceptible to water purification and recovery of spaces agroforestry with native species.
What specific actions does CAVISA take?
Among the actions that we develop as part of our commitment to the environment, we highlight:
- Transformation of old kaolin mines into lagoons with capacity for more than 5 million cubic meters of water. Years ago CAVISA established a pact with the Vimianzo Council to use the water from those lakes for community supply if necessary.
- These reserves also offer fresh water supply to fire and helicopter teams in wildfire fighting.
- Some of the old restored mines are being used for plantations of less productive native varieties, such as autochthonous wheat, deciduous species and to raise Galician blonde cows, in collaboration with enterprising neighbors.
UN Global Compact
At Cavisa we are highly involved in the promotion and awareness of the ten universally accepted principles to promote sustainable development between human rights and enterprise. These principles concern such important issues as children's law, equality or responsible investment. That is why in Caolines de Vimianzo we are part of the Spanish network of the UN Global Compact.
Circular Design: Our environmental activity
With the depopulation of the rural areas and the rise of tourism attracted by the “Camino de Santiago” or the Route of “Faros” towards the Costa da Morte, it is CAVISA itself who decides to anticipate, search and identify possible new projects with compatible uses and the search for new partners that complement us. In this way, we have interpreted the demands of society and changed the outdated concept of abandonment as a process for something that ends up becoming a new opportunity for the environment and for the company, a post-process that generates new lines of activity. The experience gained in our own rehabilitation projects allows us to.
There is a change in the work style and projects are executed with the subsequent application, the possible use and implementation of new projects after extractive activity. Our company is intimately linked to the Costa da Morte, our house in severe population recoil, and object of great influx of tourists, so we must value everything that our scope is with this new approach.
Therefore, we value a new resource: Circular design.
Resources vs. Sterile
Our project is long-term so it was always designed with continuity and the future in mind: hence a critical concept in CAVISA is the changing consideration of Resources Vs. Sterile: At the moment ceramic kaolins or mica are produced, from minerals that were considered waste for the paper sector 20 years ago, by high abrasion or for whatever; and we generate tailings, which although they have application in disparate markets, there is no demand as high as what we generate when we produce the other raw materials, so they are carefully stored in old shorts thinking about their future use.
They recover old open pit mines and waste rock storages reconstructing their soils, for agroforestry and livestock uses, either directly, either through agreements with enterprising neighbors, always trying to use native species, or existing: Galician blonde cows, native wheat, chestnut trees, willows, birch trees, natural meadows, mushrooms…
Water as a resource
Surplus water traditionally considered a problem, climate change and danger to wildfires alerts us to the need to treat it as a resource: our 4th resource.
For years, CAVISA has chosen to rehabilitate certain open pit mines as freshwater reservoirs, enabling them and making them available to society for multiple applications.
- Former kaolin mines are lagoons with capacity for more than 5 million cubic meters of water, some intended for the supply of drinking water to neighboring communities, signing agreements with Vimianzo council.
- At the time these lagoons are water reserves to support periods of drought crisis, providing emergency supply to the Council at those risk populations.
- Some lagoons and our own reservoir offer fresh water supply to firefighting teams, firefighters and helicopters, during periods of forest fire crisis.
- Future bottling natural water packaging and marketing projects can be developed from analyses of some water present in the old mines.