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7 Oct 2021

Publish What You Pay

Brazil: Publish What You Pay and IBASE launch report on the environmental and human rights impacts cause by an Anglo American’s iron ore mine

"Brazilians suffering in the shadow of mining denied benefits from company payments", 07 October 2021

...A vast iron ore mine in Brazil, owned and operated by UK multinational Anglo American, is causing water shortages, ill-health and disaster anxiety among low-income Afro-descendant communities. Few benefits are visible locally from mining taxes or royalties, according to a new joint report from Brazilian NGO IBASE (Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas) and global transparency coalition Publish What You Pay.

In Search of Transparency: Ending Opacity in Brazil’s Extractive Sector assesses the environmental and human rights impacts of Minas-Rio, the world’s ninth largest iron ore mine, located in Minas Gerais State, and reveals the Brazilian government’s lack of transparency and accountability for mining tax and royalty receipts. The report shows the local municipality struggling with the social costs of the mine, possibly receiving a smaller share of royalties than its due, and failing to report to citizens how it spends the money. Local rural communities fear a dangerous mine waste tailings dam failure.

Athayde Motta of IBASE, co-author of the report, said: “Water shortages caused by Minas-Rio have reduced local food production. Dust from mine explosions causes respiratory diseases. Fear of tailings dam breach runs high. Rural communities suffer most. There is little evidence of Brazil’s federal, state or local governments managing the mine effectively or getting a fair deal for citizens.” 

Minas-Rio operator Anglo American responded to requests for comment on a near-final draft of the report, complete with the main findings and recommendations. The company stated that “Our approach, governed by our purpose, [is] to reimagine mining to improve people’s lives …[S]ustainability is at the heart of our decision-making – it is how we do business”...

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