The Minister of Energy and Mines (MEM), Antonio Almonte, highlighted that thanks to the effort and dedication of the workers involved in the extraction, production and commercialization of larimar, this national semi-precious stone is known all over the world.
He made this statement in the framework of the celebration, this November 22, of the National Larimar Day, whose export from January to August represented for the country the income of some 20 million dollars.
While leading the activities at the MEM headquarters, in honor of the Larimar stone which is only found in the Dominican Republic, Minister Almonte emphasized that this jewel has a significant impact on employment at the mine, located in the Bahoruco community of the Barahona province, and on the people who directly and indirectly carry out the work associated with its extraction.
The official expressed that the MEM is committed to continue working with local authorities, miners and community leaders, with the objective of promoting the sustainable and responsible development of this sector.
“Today I want to pay tribute to all those who work with larimar, from the miners who obtain it with care and dedication, to the artisans who transform it into jewelry and art objects that make us known around the world. At the same time, I would like to highlight its contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of our country”, he said.
He indicated that it is important to promote the operations of the larimar mine with good practices and that for this purpose the Dominican Government is carrying out actions aimed at improving and guaranteeing the safety and health of the miners.
He emphasized that the construction of a technical office and a military detachment are in the final phase to accompany the miners and provide effective supervision, in addition to having dining and kitchen areas that offer healthy and dignified spaces to these workers.
In this sense, he informed that the miners will have bathrooms and showers, security checkpoint, perimeter fence and access gate to control the entrance to the mine area, in order to strengthen safety and operational conditions.
“We prepared good practices and debris management manuals, which are fundamental to guarantee the safety, efficiency and sustainability of operations, establishing detailed guidelines on the extraction, transport and proper disposal of debris, minimizing environmental impacts and risks for workers,” he said.
He added that they have trained miners in mining safety and health, to create awareness of the latent risks in their work and environment, in order to establish protocols and response mechanisms in situations that threaten their wellbeing.
The celebration included a bazaar, talks on the origin of larimar, awards and cultural activities related to the semiprecious stone.
The deputy ministers Miguel Díaz, Walkiria Caamaño and Alfonso Rodríguez and Golye Latoufe, director of Mining Promotion of MEM, participated in the activity.
Larimar is a variety of pectolite in blue, white and green that is only found in the Dominican Republic and has been declared a symbol of the nation’s identity and cultural heritage.
In 2018, through Law No.17-18, the National Congress declared November 22 of each year as National Larimar Day and later on November 4, 2011, with Law No. 296, named it a national stone of the Dominican Republic.