Five environment-related bills are being considered by Brazil’s congress. These include the PL 191 bill, which aims to open Indigenous lands to mining and other commercial exploitation, as well as PL 490, which would change the rules on demarcation of Indigenous territory.
In addition, on February 2022, President Jair Bolsonaro issued two decrees to drive gold prospecting with a focus on the Amazon rainforest. Nongovernment organizations have been sounding the alarm about how both the president’s comments and the reduction of environmental oversight during his term have emboldened illegal miners and spurred a gold rush, wreaking vast damage where they work. But Bolsonaro, the son of a prospector himself, has been unmoved. Small-scale miners are known as garimpeiros.
And on March 2022, President Bolsonaro called for the lifting of mining restrictions in indigenous territories to offset potential shortages for fertilizers amid the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. However, only one-third of potash reserves are in the Amazon and just 11 percent are under lands claimed by indigenous communities, according to a study by the University of Minas Gerais. The reserves could cover Brazil’s demands for potash through the year 2100, according to the study.
The current administration in Brazil favors mining exploitation in previously protected or forbidden areas. How can large miners and mining investors in Brazil comply with responsible social and environmental standards, even if not legally required? How can they navigate this new environment?
Two experts in Brazilian mining discuss these topics in AMI’s latest Mining Coffee Chat.
Please scroll below to view the video of this Chat, which took place May 3.
Contact us to find out how our mining industry intelligence services can help you weigh the risks caused by these changes, as well as to understand and mitigate other possible risks in Brazil or other mining jurisdictions.