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28 Apr 2022

Amazon Watch

Brazil: Court maintains suspension of licensing for Belo Sun mining project in the Volta Grande do Xingu region

International Rivers

"Massive Belo Sun Gold Mine Project Blocked in Brazil", 28 April 2022

...In a ruling issued on Monday, April 25, the First Regional Federal Court of Brazil (TRF-1) upheld the suspension of an environmental license for the Volta Grande Project (VGP), a massive gold mining project that the Canadian company Belo Sun Mining Corporation aims to carve into the heart of the Brazilian Amazon....If implemented, the VGP would not only further the ecocide of the Volta Grande do Xingu region, a unique and fragile ecosystem in the Xingu River basin, but would also open the doors of a new gold mining frontier in the Amazon to corporate interests.  

The TRF-1 ruling is the result of sustained efforts by civil society and institutional allies such as the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office to prevent the installation of Belo Sun’s massive gold mine and to seek redress for the illegal acts committed in the course of the VGP’s environmental licensing process. The project’s environmental license has been suspended since 2017 when an earlier ruling of the same Regional Court understood that Belo Sun and the Brazilian government had failed to respect the right to Free, Prior, and Informed consultation and Consent of Indigenous peoples who would be impacted by the gold mine. Belo Sun has been trying to contest this decision by claiming that necessary consultations were carried out over the past year. However, this week’s ruling confirms that the measures taken by Belo Sun and government agencies still fall short of requirements set forth by national legislation and international standards...

The court ruling is a crucial victory for civil society and Amazonian traditional communities at a time in which Belo Sun and other international corporations are taking aggressive steps to expand mining in Brazil...