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Bauxite mining and deforestation in Oriximina (Para), Brazil

Quilombola communities fighting against logging and mining to defend the integrity of their territories in Pará, Brazil


The municipality of Oriximina, located in the West of Para, has today 35 quilombolas communities spread over 9 ethnic territories. Among these communities, 25 have the titles to their land. The others have been waiting for several decades for the official recognition of their territories by the Brazilian State.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bauxite mining and deforestation in Oriximina (Para), Brazil
State or province:Para
Location of conflict:Oriximina
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Specific commodities:Timber
Project Details and Actors
Project details

MRN has ability to extract 18 million tons of bauxite per year.

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Project area:150000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project750000000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1970
Company names or state enterprises:Mineracao Rio do Norte (MRN) from Brazil
Alcoa from United States of America - the company has 9,62% of MRNs shares
Hydro from Norway - it has 5%
Companhia Brazileira do Aluminio (CBA) from Brazil - it has 10%
Rio Tinto Alcan (Rio Tinto) from Canada - it has 12%
BHP Billiton (BHP) from United Kingdom - it has 14,8%
Rio Tinto (Rio Tinto ) from United Kingdom
Vale (Vale) from Brazil - owns 40%
Relevant government actors:Advocacia Geral da Uniao - AGU, Departamento Nacional de Producao Mineral - DNPM, Instituto Chico Mendes de Biodiversidade ICMBio, Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazonia - Imazon, Instituto Nacional de Colonizacao e Reforma Agraria - INCRA, Instituto Nacional de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renovaveis - IBAMA, Ministrio Publico Federal - MPF, Ministerio Publico do Trabalho - MPT, Governo do Estado do Para, Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Para - ALESPA, Instituto de Terras do Para - ITERPA, Instituto de Desenvolvimento Economico, Social e Ambiental do Para - IDESP, Instituto de Desenvolvimento Florestal do Estado do Para - Ideflor, Ministerio Publico Estadual do Para - MPE-PA
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Supporters: Associacao das Comunidades Remanescentes de Quilombos do Municipio de Oriximina - ARQMO, Coordenao das Associaes das Comunidades Remanescentes de Quilombos do Par - Malungu, Comissao Pro-Indio de Sao Paulo - CPI-SP
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents
Potential: Accidents, Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Land demarcation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Mining continues to cause impacts to communities and the problems related to them were not tackled effectively.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

BRASIL. Presidencia da Republica. Casa Civil. LEI No 9.985, DE 18 DE JULHO DE 2000: Regulamenta o art. 225, 1o, incisos I, II, III e VII da Constituicao Federal, institui o Sistema Nacional de Unidades de Conservacao da Natureza e da outras providencias.

ORGANIZACAO INTERNACIONAL DO TRABALHO. Convencao 169 sobre Povos Indigenas e Tribais.

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Report: Quilombola Lands in Oriximin: Pressure and Threats
[click to view]

WANDERLEY, Luiz Jardim de Moraes. O Grande Projeto Minerador e Seus Impactos Territoriais de Localizacao: O Caso da MRN Em Oriximina-PA. Grupo de Pesquisa Mineracao e Desenvolvimento Sustentavel. Acesso em: 13 jul. 2009.
[click to view]

Globalization in the Brazilian Amazon Region: Conflicting Answers from Quilombo Communities
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ANDRADE, L.M.M. Terras Quilombolas em Oriximin: presses e ameaas. Comisso Pr-ndio de So Paulo. So Paulo: out. 2011, 44 p. 2011.

MAPA DA INJUSTICA AMBIENTAL E SAUDE NO BRASIL. Poder estatal e dominacao territorial contra os quilombolas extrativistas do Trombetas.
[click to view]

Book: Antes a Água era Cristalina, Pura e Sadia – Percepções quilombolas e ribeirinhas dos impactos e riscos da mineração em Oriximiná, Pará- Comissão Pró-Índio de São Paulo

PYL, Bianca. MPF convoca reuniao para tratar de exploracao mineral em Terras Quilombolas do Para. Brasil de Fato, 23 out. 2012.

MINISTERIO PUBLICO FEDERAL. Justica suspende desmatamento da Mineracao Rio do Norte em Oriximina (PA). 10 ago. 2011. Available at:

A guerra secreta pela bauxita
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Brazil: The toxic impact of bauxite mining in Oriximiná
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MPF/PA questiona IBAMA sobre regularidade de exploracao mineraria na floresta nacional (flona) Saraca-Taquera. Ecodebate, 21 set. 2012.
[click to view]

PROCURADORIA REGIONAL DO TRABALHO DA 8th REGIAO. Mineracao Rio do Norte e condenada a pagar mais de 650 mil em danos morais coletivos por praticar excesso de jornada. 30 nov. 2012.

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:213
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