Canada’s Belo Sun hits legal hurdles in bid to mine indigenous land in Brazil

Original story by The Mining Observatory translated and published by Mongabay

Canadian mining company Belo Sun continues to survey for gold inside indigenous territories in the Brazilian state of Pará despite legal actions brought against it, according to exclusive data obtained by Mongabay.

The information, including a map received through a freedom-of-information request, show that Belo Sun has 11 applications pending with the National Mining Agency (NMA) that would directly affect the Arara da Volta Grande do Xingu and Trincheira Bacajá indigenous reserves.

But even with permission withheld, the information suggests Belo Sun continued to prospect for gold and make bureaucratic advances in 2018 and 2019.

The project is slated to be the largest open-air mine in Latin America, with 74 tons of the gold expected to be mined over 20 years of operation. Belo Sun intends to invest 4 billion reais (about $800 million) in the project located between the cities of Altamira and Senador José Porfírio in the Volta Grande do Xingu region.

The region has already been heavily affected by construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, as well as deforestation, land speculation, and a recent escalation in violence.

Belo Sun, listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is part of the Canadian group Forbes & Manhattan Inc., a privately held company with extractives projects around the world, including gold in Africa, ferrous metals in Ukraine, and copper, oil and gas in North America. In Brazil, in addition to Belo Sun, it also has a shale gas operation and a potash project.

The latter’s potassium mine in Amazonas state has also racked up a number of socio-environmental violations and has also applied to exploit indigenous territory, Mongabay reported previously.

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