Bolsonaro government withdraws and cancels mining permits in the Amazon

The minister of the GSI (Institutional Security Office), Augusto Heleno, canceled this Monday (27) the authorization of seven gold research projects in one of the most preserved areas of the Amazon.

The retreat, made in an act of the National Defense Council, was published in the Official Gazette of the Union. As revealed by Folha, the minister had endorsed the mining projects in the region of São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM), the most indigenous city in Brazil, where ethnic groups are located.

The MPF (Federal Public Ministry) in Amazonas has instituted an investigation procedure to investigate and inspect the authorizations given by the GSI minister, given the socio-environmental risk of the measures. Members of the MP suspect that the acts sought to prepare land for mining in indigenous lands, a proposal defended by President Jair Bolsonaro.

The authorizations were revoked based on manifestations of the ANM (National Mining Agency), Funai (National Indigenous Foundation) and ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation).

“Considering the new technical and legal information, presented directly to the GSI, and which will be studied by the ANM, the Chief Minister of State of the GSI, in the capacity of executive secretary of the National Defense Council, revoked the Prior Assent Acts”, states a note from the GSI.

In the same statement, the portfolio headed by Heleno recognizes that there are areas of mineral requirement “on the limits” of indigenous lands or in a region with demarcation not yet ratified.

Helen, who dispatches at Palácio do Planalto and places himself as one of the main auxiliaries of Bolsonaro , is executive secretary of the Council of Defense, the body that advises the president on matters of sovereignty and defense. It is up to the GSI minister to approve or not the mining projects in the border strip, with a width of 150 km.

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

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

The projects would be installed in the extreme northwest of the Amazon, on the border with Colombia and Venezuela. The region, known as Cabeça do Cachorro, is one of the most preserved in the Amazon and one of the last frontiers of full conservation of the biome.

For the entire Amazon, Heleno has already authorized 81 mining projects since the beginning of the Bolsonaro government. The minister defended his actions, the day after the publication of the article by Folha.

According to the minister, “it is legal to authorize the exploration/mining of minerals, in the border strip, includes the Amazon”. “Respecting the legislation and the environment, we will continue to map our wealth for the good of Brazil and our people”, he said on Monday (6), in a publication on a social network.

companies with areas embargoed by Ibama (Brazilian Institute for the Environment of Renewable Natural Resources) benefited, including a company authorized to search for gold in Cabeça do Cachorro. There was also an endorsement from a prospector who works with suction dredges in riverbeds in the Amazon

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