The emeralds that you find at Myel come from Brazil and are bought directly from the mine by our gemmologist partners. This mine is located on the land of the owner's family farm, which is about fifteen kilometers from Itabira, in Minas Gerais (which means “collective mines”), thus respect for this land and the environment has always been an important matter there.
The family began to mine the open pit right after the discovery of the deposit, in 1978. Today, there are two other underground mines in operation. Underground mines produce much less waste than open pit mines. The environment is taken into account from the start right up to the end of operations.
Here are some of the measures that were taken by the company:
Recovery and filtration of water
The water used for stone extraction contains particles of minerals that can contaminate it. Used water is transferred to a filtration system consisting of 7 ponds at different levels. The water passes from one basin to another before being completely filtered and then returned to the river.
Soil residues or minerals that do not contain emeralds are set aside and strategically placed. Once the original open-pit mine no longer produces, it is then filled with residue from other underground mines. The surface can then be reforested. The whole process lasts about ten years.
The mine manager owns a degree in environmental engineering and the mine is totally responsible for reforestation. A nursery grows native trees that are planted once the original mine is filled. Fauna and flora surveys are done on a regular basis to ensure that the same number of animals return to the forest once it is renewed.
Reduction of distances
The land that is removed is relocated in places that require to travel as little distance as possible. The residues are moved to mined places so as not to contribute to the degradation of untouched land.
Today, this mine is one of the most sophisticated colour stone mines on the planet and we are extremely proud to be working with them.