MPF investigates gold mining project in Volta Grande do Xingu, next to Belo Monte
The Federal Prosecutor in Altamira opened procedure to investigate the project Beautiful Sun Mining, that you want to install, according to their own propaganda, the largest gold mine in Brazil’s Volta Grande do Xingu, the local side directly impacted by the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant. The project is being licensed by the State Secretariat of Environment of Pará (Sema) and a public hearing was held on the last day September 13, in the town of Senador José Porfírio.
The Prosecutor of the Republic, which investigates the Thais Santi, followed the public hearing and questioned the realization of a project of this size in an area already weakened with the installation of the plant of Belo Monte, precisely the area that is affected by the diversion of the flow of the Xingu River to feed the hydroelectric turbines.
“It is very worrying that the project does not make any mention of the overlapping impacts,” said the Prosecutor. Thais Santi also questions the absence of information about impacts to indigenous people. “There is simply no studies on impacts on indigenous to the Volta Grande or participation of Funai in licensing” records.
The para Secretary of environment, José Alberto Colares, was questioned about the impact of the project studies in indigenous communities of the region of big bend. The achievement of a single hearing in the urban area of Senador José Porfírio also worries the MPF, since the venture will impact communities and rural areas with difficult access to cities.
The concern is shared by the Defensoria Pública do Estado do Pará and the affected communities, who sent the document to the MPF and Sema requesting more audiences. “For the members of this Office and also for villagers of Hangover, Ilha da Fazenda, Rooster, Itatá Green and gold, the designated public audience in the urban area of Senador José Porfírio will not allow the participation of resident population in the area of influence of the mining project,” says the document, signed by the public defender of Altamira, Andréia Macedo Barreto. The State Department of Environment agreed to hold at least one public hearing.
The MPF also sent a letter to the Director of the National Department of Mineral production (DNPM), João Bosco Braga, requesting information about the operating licences which the company Beautiful Sun Mining Corporation has in the region of the Xingu. According to the company Web site, it is a joint venture with headquarters in Canada and “portfolio” in Brazil.
“Beautiful Sun Mining are searching for gold over the richest in ore belts in northern Brazil, a region with vast mineral wealth and a vibrant and modern mining industry. The Brazil has a mining industry of global importance with a considerable exploration potential. The Brazil also has favourable political climate, with a recently modernized mining code and, despite these geological conditions, remains largely untapped, “says the company internet site.
Also according to the site, the company owns the rights to exploration and mining in an area of 1,305 square kilometers which is known for artisanal mining. It is one of the concerns of the MPF, since, according to the residents of the islands of the Volta Grande do Xingu, they still owns the mining rights in the region.
According to the Beautiful Sun Mining, the production potential of gold in Volta Grande do Xingu is 4,684 kilograms of gold per year.