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Mining-metallurgical complex in Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil

The attempt to set up a mining-mettalurgical pole in Corumbá increased deforestation for charcoal, impacting indigenous communities. The failure of the complex reduced the extraction of charcoal, but not the mining and its impacts to local communities.


The region of Corumba and Ladario, located in the Pantanal biome (Brazilian wetlands) of Mato Grosso do Sul, has the third largest reserve of iron ore in Brazil. The main iron ore mine of the region is the Morro do Urucum. It is estimated that the mountain contains 30 billion tons of jaspilite and 890 million tons of colluvial soil.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mining-metallurgical complex in Corumbá, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
State or province:Mato Grosso do Sul
Location of conflict:Corumbá e Ladário
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Iron ore
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The following companies operate or operated in Corumbá: i) Corumba Mineracao Ltda (COMIN), iron mining company linked to Vetiral Steel Group, that extracted about 432,000 tons/year in 2007, a significant part of the extracted ore is sent to the iron pig plant of Ribas do Rio Pardo; ii) Mineração e Metalicos do Brasil Ltda (MMX) has the potential to extract from 2.6 million tons/year of iron ore. In 2007, its steel unit started to operate, with a capacity of 375,000 t/year of pig iron and 400,000 tons/year of laminates, but was sold in 2009; iii) Mineracao Piramide Participacioes (MPP) had a experimental mine that announced production of 180,000 tons in 2007, reaching 1,440,000 tons/year; iii) Mineração Corumbaense Reunida (MCR) was a company of the multinational Rio Tinto – with production of 3 million tons in 2007, and allowed by IBAMA to explore up to 6 million tons/year – that was sold to Vale in 2009; iv) Vale, besides the MCR mine, control the Urucum Mineracao (UMSA), which produce around 2,500,000 tons/year of iron ore and 800,000 tons of manganese ore, besides of ferro-alloys based on the manganese v) Companhia Cimento Portland Itau, has a system that integrates a mine to a cement plant of Grupo Votorantim Cimentos, with limestone production of 550,000 tons/year and cement factory, 330,000 tons/year of clinker and 380.0000 t/yr of cement. All companies export the final product, whether in the form of iron ore, manganese, pig iron, hot-rolled, alloy, clinker or cement [5, 9, 10].

Project area:118000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2000
Company names or state enterprises:Mineracao e Metalicos do Brazil Ltda (MMX) from Brazil
Corumba Mineracao Ltda (COMIN) from Brazil
Mineracao Piramide Participacioes (MPP) from Brazil
Mineracao Corumbaense Reunida (MCR) from Brazil
Rio Tinto (Rio Tinto ) from United Kingdom
Vale (Vale) from Brazil - formerly named Companhia Vale do Rio Doce
Urucum Mineracao (UMSA) from Brazil
Rio Doce Mineracao (RDM) from Brazil
Companhia Cimento Portland Itau from Brazil
Grupo Votorantim Cimentos from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Instituto Brasileiro de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renovaveis - IBAMA, Polícia Federal , Ministerio Publico do Trabalho , Departamento Nacional de Producao Mineral
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Associacao Civil Ecologia e Acao (ECOA), Rede Brasileira de Justica Ambiental (RBJA)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Referendum other local consultations
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths
Potential: Malnutrition, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Problems arising from the extraction of charcoal have been reduced with the iron and steel complex crisis, but the problems stemming from growing mining persist.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[5] La Rovere, Emílio Lébre (Coord). Avaliacao Ambiental Estrategica do Polo Minero-Industrial de Corumba e influencias sobre a Planicie Pantaneira. Relatorio Executivo. Laboratorio Interdisciplinar de Meio Ambiente, Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia (COPPE), Universidade do Brasil (UFRJ), ago. 2008.
[click to view]

[7] Mota, A.C.F.D. Pólos Minero-Siderúrgicos no Brasil: A Contribuição da Avaliação Ambiental Estratégica no Caso de Corumbá. (Dissertação) Programa de Pós-graduação em Planejamento Energético (PPE), COPPE, da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Maio de 2009.
[click to view]

[13] Costa, E.A. Conflito pelas Terras e pelas Àguas: Notas das Relações entre Mineradoras e Proprietários Rurais em Corumbá. Geographia, v. 15, n. 30, 2013.
[click to view]

MAPA DE CONFLITOS ENVOLVENDO INJUSTICA AMBIENTAL E SAUDE NO BRASIL. Carvao para Siderurgia e Mineracao ameaça terras indigenas, aguas, cerrado e matas do Pantanal.

[1] Valor. IBAMA multa MMX por uso de carvao de origem ilegal. Bettina Barros. 08 fev. 2008.
[click to view]

[2] Campo Grande News. IBAMA fecha carvoaria em terra indigena no Pantanal. Marta Ferreira. 29 nov. 2007. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 10 set. 2008.
[click to view]

[3] Exame. MMX suspende producao de minerio de ferro em Corumba. Marcelle Gutierrez. 04 jul. 2013.
[click to view]

[4] Ecodebate IBAMA avalia danos ambientais ao Macico do Urucum pelos impactos da mineracao e de outras intervencoes industriais e agropecuarias na regiao.Mariza Pontes Oliveira. 07 fev. 2009.
[click to view]

[6] Campo Grande News. Funai diz que índios kadiwéu ocupam apenas uma fazenda no Pantanal. Geisy Garnes. 24 nov. 2017.
[click to view]

[8] Vale. Vale conclui a aquisição de Corumbá. 18 set. 2009.
[click to view]

[9] Valor. MMX conclui venda de fábrica no Mato Grosso do Sul. 15 set. 2009.
[click to view]

[10] Vale. Conheça as minas do Sistema Centro-Oeste no Mato Grosso do Sul. 30 jun. 2014
[click to view]

[11] Vale. Vale completa 40 anos de operação no Mato Grosso do Sul. 8 abr. 2016.
[click to view]

[12] Mato Grosso do Sul. Demanda mundial puxa exportações de minério de ferro do maciço de Urucum. Edmir Conceição dos Santos. 18 fev. 2018.
[click to view]

[14] Campo Grande News. Combate a carvão ilegal reverte desmatamento no Pantanal. 9 jun. 2010.
[click to view]

[15] EcoDebate. MS: Comunidade prejudicada por mineradoras vai construir o próprio sistema de abastecimento de água em Corumbá. 30 abr. 2014.
[click to view]

[16] Midiamax. Denúncia atribui morte de peixes a vazamento em barragem da Vale. Catarine Sturza. 11 mar. 2016.
[click to view]

[17] Imasul. Força-tarefa coordenada pelo Imasul vai a Corumbá nesta terça-feira vistoriar barragens. 28 jan. 2019.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update12/03/2019
Conflict ID:232
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