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Coal mining pollution, Santa Catarina, Brazil.


Coal mining has generated, over the last century, a series of negative environmental impacts in the municipalities of the Southern state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, and these impacts have been the subject of protests from environmentalist entities and lawsuits filed by Federal prosecutors. However, due to its economic importance, the companies in the sector have received support from the State Government and the Federal Government. Coal has been defended by businessmen and some sectors of the State as an energy alternative in times of prolonged drought in Brazil, whose energy matrix is highly dependent on power generated by hydro power plants, as well as a product to be exported to Chinese industry.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Coal mining pollution, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
State or province:Santa Catarina
Location of conflict:Criciúma, Treviso
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
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The estimated reserves are of at least 55 million MT.

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Project area:1228
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:--
Start of the conflict:1980
Company names or state enterprises:Termoelektrarna Sostanj d.o.o. from Slovenia
Relevant government actors:Departamento Nacional de Produção Mineral , Instituto Brasileiro de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renováveis , Agência Nacional de Energia Elétrica , Ministério Público Federal
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Sócios da Natureza, Pastoral da Ecologia, Movimento Ecológico de Siderópolis (MES), Movimento Ecológico Tubaronense (Movet), Movimento Içarense pela Vida
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Noise pollution, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Displacement
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Mining in the region continues to occur, there has been some partial victories of the movement in the State, but in general the mining sector still has great political and economic influence and is building alternatives for its continuity.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Diagnóstico dos Recursos Hídricos e Organização dos Agentes da Bacia do Rio Tubarão e da Região Lagunar
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MAPA DE CONFLITOS ENVOLVENDO INJUSTIÇA AMBIENTAL E SAÚDE NO BRASIL. Poder arraigado da mineração carbonífera em Santa Catarina é empecilho à recuperação ambiental de áreas degradadas e cursos de água que sofrem os efeitos da acidificação. Crescimento da u
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AMBIENTE BRASIL. MMA investe R$ 1,3 milhão na bacia carbonífera de Santa Catarina. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 25 ago. 2009.
[click to view]

CARAZZAI, Estelita. Dilma recebe reivindicações de ambientalistas em evento em SC. 21 mai. 2012. Disponível em: Acesso em: 10 ago. 2013.
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ADJORI. China poderá investir na produção de carvão mineral de SC. 09 mar. 2012. Disponível em: Acesso em: 10 ago. 2013.
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AMADO, Vanessa. Região Sul comemora inclusão do carvão mineral no leilão de energia do Governo Federal. Engeplus, 03 mai. 2013. Disponível em: ,,60951,RegiaSul-cema-inclusadcarvamineral-nleilade-energia-dGernFederal.html. Acesso em: 10 ago. 2013.
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NUNES, Cléria. Empresas de mineração têm atividades embargadas no sul de SC. Notícias do Ministério Público Federal, Brasília, 28 nov. 2006. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 25 ago. 2009.
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

!/image/328168231.jpg_gen/derivatives/horizontal_w500/328168231.jpg (Politicians from Santa Catarina and Chinese entrepreneurs at a meeting in ALESC)
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!/image/3523286667.jpg_gen/derivatives/horizontal_w500/3523286667.jpg (Workers extracting coal in southern santa Catarina)
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(Coal mine in Criciúma)

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Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019
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