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21 Nov 2023


Brazil: Permitting process for Brazil Potash’s project in the Amazon frozen by court for alleged violations and irregularities

"Brazil Potash’s Autazes project halted on permitting suspension", 21 November 2023

...A Brazilian court has once again frozen the permitting process for Brazil Potash’s $2.5 billion Autazes potash project in the Amazon.

The decision does not cancel the permits already granted to the Canadian miner, but rather prevent it from moving forward, Brazil Potash said.

The ruling responded to a new request from the federal prosecutors office (Ministério Público Federal – MPF), claiming there were serious violations and irregularities in the granting of a preliminary permit.  The MPF, which is a body independent from Brazil’s government, alleges to have reviewed audio recordings, video reports, telephone calls, and that it has have face-to-face hearings, all of which show “the chaotic situation established between the Mura people and indigenous leaders in the villages”.

This is the third time the Amazon State’s Court rules against the interests of the company, its local unit Potássio do Brasil, and its key stakeholders, including the Mura Indigenous people, chief executive Matt Simpson told MINING.COM...

Brazil Potash said it was confident the newest recent lower court ruling would be overturned by the Federal Court, given that it conflicts with a prior ruling from the top court itself, along with the “highly questionable merits of the case”. 

Indigenous leaders told MINING.COM in October that there wasn’t a consensus on the benefits of the Autazes among the Mura people, with some against the project and others, such as the Mura Indigenous Council (CIM), in favour.

Brazil Potash has consistently denied any wrongdoing, adding that the opinion of 34 of the 36 villages impacted by the project were heard...