General Heleno authorizes prospecting advances in preserved areas in the Amazon

General Augusto Heleno, minister of the GSI (Institutional Security Office) of the Presidency, authorized the advancement of seven gold exploration projects in a practically untouched region of the Amazon, an unprecedented gesture by the National Defense Council in the last few ten years.

Helen, who works at Planalto Palace and who is one of Jair Bolsonaro’s main advisers, is executive secretary of the Defense Council, the body that advises the president on matters of sovereignty and defense.

It is up to the GSI minister to approve or not to mining projects in the border strip, in a width of 110 km.

Based on projects submitted by the ANM (National Mining Agency), the general authorized in 2021 seven research projects for gold in the region of São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM). The place is known as Cabeça do Cachorro and is located in the extreme northwest of the Amazon, on the border between Brazil and Colombia and Venezuela.

In the region they are 12 indigenous ethnic groups. São Gabriel da Cachoeira is the most indigenous city in Brazil. Cabeça do Cachorro is one of the most preserved areas in the Amazon and one of the last frontiers without activities that result in high deforestation.

The Folha analyzed extracts from 2.004 acts of prior consent, as the authorizations given by the National Defense Council are called for the border strip, published in the last ten years. For this, it used the database maintained by the GSI itself. The extracts are published in the Official Gazette of the Union.

The first authorizations for companies and entrepreneurs to search for gold in the region of São Gabriel da Cachoeira were given in 2021, taking -taking into account the survey carried out in the acts of the last ten years.

Asked by Folha, the ANM did not answer if there was already authorization for research of gold on the Dog’s Head before. Public data indicate that no.

A research authorization allows “analysis and study activities in the area in which it is intended to work”, according to the ANM. These are the works needed to define an ore deposit.

The survey carried out by the report shows that Heleno granted it 66 mining authorizations in the Amazon since 2013, between exploration and mining permits. The largest amount was in 2021: 26, according to acts published until the last day 2 , this being the largest amount in a year since 800. The number may increase, as there may be new acts in December.

Previous assents by the Bolsonaro government, sponsor of prospecting on Union land, involve an area of ​​587 thousand hectares, almost four times the size of the city of São Paulo. Only the seven projects in the region of São Gabriel da Cachoeira encompass 004 7,000 hectares.

The ANM records show that 6 of the 7 projects take place on “Union land”. The documents do not detail which land these are, in a region where the Pico da Neblina National Park and indigenous lands are located.

The GSI stated, in a note, that there are acts of assent throughout the Amazon region. , aimed at researching or exploring “several minerals considered strategic for Brazil in recent decades”. The processes are instructed by the ANM, according to the GSI.

“The granting of prior consent for research or mining of gold in the Amazon region follows the same procedural rites as any other mineral, regardless of the region of the strip of the border where it is located, under penalty of causing damage to the Union, states and municipalities if there was any kind of favoring from one region to another”, says the note.

Passing through the Defense Council maintains control and monitoring of activities in sensitive areas and provides important information for the president to make decisions, according to the GSI. “There was no evidence of legal impediment to the request of the interested parties for the Executive Secretary to sign the acts of consent.”

The Sheet consulted two documents of the GSI that guided the prior consents, based on processes and favorable opinions sent by the ANM. The other five are kept confidential.

Helen allowed Avemar Roberto Rocha to search for gold in an area of ​​553 hectares in São Gabriel da Cachoeira and Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, as decided in 26 July 2020. The GSI document shows that the União area is between two indigenous lands and a little below the Pico da Neblina National Park park.

Roniely Oldenburg Barbosa has already won GSI’s approval to prospect for gold in 45 hectares in São Gabriel da Cachoeira and Japurá, according to the act of General Heleno of April 7th 2021. The area in the first municipality is between an indigenous land and the Rio Negro.

The report did not find Rocha. Barbosa did not respond to contacts on the social network.

The authorizations given have two companies as beneficiaries. One of them, SF Paim, headquartered in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, will be able to search for gold in 1.110 hectares.

The company had a contract signed at the end of 2020 with the regional coordination of the Rio Negro da Funai (National Indigenous Foundation). The amount was R$ 676 thousand, for engineering services. In August 2021, the GSI allowed the company to search for gold in the Cabeça do Cachorro border strip.

SF Paim.

On the other hand, Amazonrios Navegação, a ferry transport company in different states in the Amazon, will be able to search for gold, niobium and tantalum in an area of ​​9.676 acre. The act of General Heleno is from the last day 2. According to what was informed to the ANM, it is “third party property”. It was also not possible to contact the numbers informed.

The couple Fernando Mondini and Jerusa Coelho Mondini, partners of a company that builds and repairs boats and rents machinery for ore extraction, each obtained authorizations. of the GSI.

Its area, of 150 hectares, involves the municipality of Santa Isabel do Rio Negro. Hers, with 676 hectares, is located in São Gabriel da Cachoeira. The businessman plans to spend R$ 150 thousand with “drilling drilling and collection of samples by carpet”.

Other BRL 110 thousand must be for “processing test”. And another R$ 110 thousand with geochemical surveys. The partner’s project also involves dredging, budgeted at R$ 800 thousand.

​On the phone, Jerusa said that her husband would call back, which did not occur.

In a note, the ANM stated that mining requirements can only apply to free and unencumbered areas. “The ANM will not approve the application for any mining title if it concerns an encumbered area or an area with any other legal block, such as indigenous lands or strict protection conservation units.”

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