A dispute for land and gold: The State between a Canadian mining company and a small scale mining cooperative in Amazon – Brazil

Januária Pereira Mello

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

Abstract

"The history of mining in Latin America is marked by conflicts between large companies and the local population of the areas where mineral resources are found. The aim of this study is to analyse the conflict between a small-scale mining cooperative and the Canadian company Belo Sun Mining Inc. The framework of this research is the Latin America political ecology and the ethnography of social and environmental conflicts as a theoretic and methodological guide. The conflict will be analysed using a theoretical framework of political ecology in Latin America The cooperative and the company are involved in a dispute over gold mining in the area of the “Big Bend” of Xingu River, or Volta Grande do Xingu, in the Amazon, Brazil. The region is known as “Stretch of Reduced Instream Flow”, since the dam for the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Plant was built, around 13 Km upstream from where the small scale mining families have been living since 1940’s. The synergetic impacts of the Belo Monte Dam and the Belo Sun Mining on the livelihood of the local communities are very large. The research question is how did the government of Pará shut down the activities of the small-scale mining cooperative, but gave Preliminary License for gold exploitation to a Canadian mining company. The results showed how companies and some sectors of the government used tricks to approve licenses, despite them going against the Brazilian Law. Some clashes surrounding the process of environmental licensing of Belo Sun Mining Inc. have brought into discussion the high risks for the environment and the disregard" for the small-scale mining rights. Moreover, accusations of land grabbing weigh heavily on the company.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 18th IUAES World Congress: World (of) Encounters: The Past, Present and Future of Anthropological Knowledge
ChapterOP026
Pages1384-1399
Number of pages16
VolumeJuly 16 – 20, 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2018

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