Environment

Amazonian state close to legalizing harmful wildcat mining

In Roraima, lawmakers passed a bill to legalize all illicit gold mining, including on indigenous lands

wildcat mining
Indigenous reserve in Roraima. Photo: EB

While the coronavirus pandemic halted multiple economic sectors, criminal industries have largely withstood the chaos. Indeed, with authorities’ attention turned to mitigating the Covid-19 crisis, one illicit activity has thrived: wildcat mining. A study revealed that gold mining in the Amazon region increased during the first half of 2020, with exports surpassing USD 1.2 billion between January and April alone.

And a decision by state lawmakers in Roraima could further boost this already booming illicit industry.

A bill legalizing wildcat mining throughout Brazil’s northernmost state was approved in Roraima state congress and is set to be signed...

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