Environment

Big mining eyeing indigenous Brazilian lands the size of England

International financial institutions preach ESG commitments, but keep financing miners acting on indigenous lands

Mining site in Canaã dos Carajás, Pará. Photo: Danilo Verpa/Folhapress
Mining site in Canaã dos Carajás, Pará. Photo: Danilo Verpa/Folhapress

In February of last year, when Brazil was recording its highest Covid mortality rates of the pandemic, Canadian mining firm Belo Sun gained permission to meet with indigenous representatives to discuss the Volta Grande do Xingu project — slated to be the world’s biggest open-air gold mine.

Authorization came from Brazil’s indigenous foundation Funai, which was roundly criticized for the decision. At the time, less than 30 percent of Brazil’s indigenous population had been vaccinated against Covid. Amid the wave of bad press, Funai backtracked.

This is just one example of a series of implications that mining activities can...

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