In February, a group of locals who opposed the project asked Pará authorities to suspend the recently issued construction licence for Volta Grande. They oppose the company’s planned use of cyanide during extraction of the precious metal, arguing that waste will be deposited in a dam located just 1.5 km from the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, which poses risks in case of a dam collapse as it happened in 2015, after the Samarco dam burst in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais, which killed 19 people and polluted water streams.
"Either Belo Sun throws us out of here or we throw them out."
The budget cut could cripple efforts to stem deforestation in the country, scientists and environmental groups fearApril 7, 2017Mongabay
Brazil accounts for nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest, the world's largest tropical forest. After several years of decline, deforestation – driven by beef, soy and timber industries – appears to be increasing again.
The Volta Grande project on the Xingu River is destined to be Brazil's largest open-pit gold mine. But activists fear the environmental impact on indigenous communities.April 3, 2017Univisión
According to Christian Poirier of Amazon Watch, "there is no plan for the removal of the mine waste – it's a ticking time bomb."
Outgoing President Rafael Correa's mining deals have alienated groups that once supported him. That could cost his heir apparent on Sunday.March 29, 2017Americas Quarterly
Indigenous people make up as much as 30 percent of Ecuador's 16.5 million citizens, and their swing to Lasso could be the deciding factor in the run-off elections.
From the snow-covered plains of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota to Shuar rainforest territories in the Ecuadorian Amazon, there is a resurgence of resistance to extractive industry projects around the world. These conflicts have major implications for China, Latin America's largest trading partner, whose state run companies are involved in many of the controversial projects, and whose bilateral loans and lines of credit are closely tied to extractive industries.
Brazil is handing over the Amazon rainforest to mining companies and big agricultureMarch 21, 2017VICE News
"You cannot deny land to indigenous people that are ancestrally attached to it and expect them to continue to exist as a culture," said Christian Poirier, program director at Amazon Watch.
Brazil's current economic and political shifts and its effort to attract Chinese investment are part of a concerted effort by the Brazilian government to industrialize vast sections of the Amazon, with grave ramifications for the forests, rivers, and peoples who help sustain this irreplaceable biome for the benefit of humanity.
Only a bridge separates the Shuar village of El Tink from threat of military and mining interests in high-profile dispute resulting in death and displacementMarch 19, 2017The Guardian
Military drones and police helicopters circle above the Shuar indigenous village of El Tink, an Amazonian community in Ecuador where a high-profile dispute against a Chinese copper mine has become a standoff and a siege.
Indigenous groups say they are at "war" with the Brazilian government after the appointment of a justice minister with close ties to agricultureMarch 14, 2017Climate Home
Donald Trump is not alone in choosing collaborators seemingly at odds with the jobs they are given in government. While the US has climate change denier Scott Pruitt leading the government's environmental protection, in Brazil, the new head of the ministry in charge of demarcating indigenous lands believes that it is not up to the federal government to do that.