ISA project infeasibility statement requests of mining in the region of Xingu

ISA project infeasibility statement requests of mining in the region of Xingu

January 26, 2013

Last Wednesday (23), the socio-environmental Institute technical report filed by the Environment Secretariat of Pará requesting the Declaration of mining project infeasibility Belo Sun, installing gold mining in the region of the Xingu River Volta Grande. The document explains why the area where the Xingu River will have significant reduction of flow may not have, in addition to the world’s third-largest hydroelectric plant, another mega project licensed.

The document was forwarded by the ISA to the Secretariat of environment (Sema) of Pará and requests that the Agency suspend the licensing process of the Canadian mining company design Belo Sun (see table at the end of the text). In addition, it also asks if the Ems will continue the process, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office request your federalization, as there are direct affectation to the indigenous peoples of the region. “The EIA presented is flawed, but regardless of the quality of the study, it has no way to perform a technically based assessment regarding the impacts on the environment, given the great transformation by which the Volta Grande must pass. Therefore, we hope that Sema complete by social and environmental project infeasibility “, says lawyer Leonardo Amorim, of the ISA.


Two public hearings to discuss the implementation of the project Volta Grande were already done in the municipality of Senador José Porfírio, where will be explored mine. The meetings were marked by the Secretary of environment (Sema) of Pará and the Canadian company Belo Sun Mining, which intends to install in Volta Grande large gold exploration program.

The socio-environmental Institute examined the design and licensing documents highlights two main problems: the disregard of environmental changes caused by the Belo Monte dam in precisely the area in which you intend to install the mining company, and the insufficient analysis of impacts on the indigenous peoples of the region. “The population of the Volta Grande do Xingu already live today with uncertainties about the impacts of reduced river flow, as a result of the construction of the Belo Monte dam. Isn’t it possible that, in addition, they have to live with the installation of a large mining company and with the imminent risk of any contamination accident in an already fragile environment. What kind of extreme situation the State is willing to impose on indigenous and bordering on the Xingu River in exchange for energy and for private companies? “asks the lawyer Biviany Rojas, of the ISA.


The licensing recognizes the existence of impacts, but assumes, expressly, the uncertainty about its size, and therefore the North energy (company responsible for building the UH Belo Monte) and Ibama will perform monitoring for years to diagnose the actual impacts on the Volta Grande and their people. Such monitoring may also be adjustments of environmental licenses of hydroelectric power.

The opinion prepared by the ISA alert that it is impossible to realize the impacts forecast mining project amid an environment that does not know how it will behave in the near future. Neither the Energy nor the North affected (such as Indians and fishermen), or the experts and the public bodies responsible know what will be the exact impact of the Belo Monte dam in the Volta Grande.

Beautiful Sun mining company submitted his studies with the intention of installing the project approximately 10 km away from the main dam Belo Monte and the 9.5 km of the indigenous land (TI) Paquiçamba. In 11 years of operation, the Beautiful Sun must roll 37.80 million tons of ore.

Tis will be direct impacts

To run the project, the company sent the environmental impact assessment (EIA) to the State Department of environment of Pará in February last year. According to the study, the project would not have significant impact on the bed of the Rio Xingu and not direct impacts on indigenous peoples of TI Paquiçamba and TI Arara da Volta Grande.

Despite being located in the same region that the Belo Monte hydroelectric, self-evident and cumulative and synergistic impacts, the mining project is being licensed by Sema, the State environmental agency, while the hydroelectric plant is licensed by Ibama, the federal environmental agency. “Joint venture affecting indigenous lands must be licensed by Ibama. This is even more necessary when the new venture, high impact, has direct interactions with the work that completely changes the conditions of the Middle, “says the lawyer of ISA, Leonardo Amorim.

For lawyer Raul do Valle, Program Coordinator-Environmental Law and policy of the ISA, the impact on indigenous lands (TIs) is straight. “It is clear that there is an impact, as happens in Belo Monte. And will occur not only because the excavation site is next to the TIs strong where there will be mobilization of men and machines, but, above all, because these lands already will suffer with the limitation of water resources after the construction of the dam “.

The design of the Belo Sun

The Belo Sun Mineração Ltda. is a Brazilian subsidiary of Canada’s Belo Sun Mining Corp., belonging to Forbes & Manhattan Inc. the Group received authorization for mining research in the area of the Volta Grande do Xingu of the National Department of Mineral production (DNPM, authorizations under the numbers 805,657/805,658/76, 76, 76/805,659 and 812,559/76), after several companies have conducted research in the areaover the past three decades, without effect the exploitation of minerals. Among these companies, stands the EBX, owned by businessman Eike Batista.

The gold mining on the banks of the Xingu River will be made in the open, because it is a close to the surface. The prediction is that the advance for up to 20 years. By the calculations of the Beautiful Sun, there will be 2.1 thousand employees, own and outsourced, at the peak of the work, but without impact assessment cumulative and synergistic with the population increase promoted by the Belo Monte dam. The effective exploitation of gold would begin in the first quarter of 2015. The company has listed 21-environmental programmes to mitigate the impacts that will be caused to the region and to the life of the population completely disjointed of plans, programs and projects planned for Belo Monte to the same area and population.

Read the analysis of the environmental licensing of the project Back Beautiful big Sun Mining

Source: ISA


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