Impacts of iron ore mining in Conceicao do Mato Dentro/MG, Brazil


The Minas-Rio Project is a big business owned by Anglo Ferrous, a subsisidiart of Anglo American (this project originally belonged to MMX) that provides for the installation of a mine to extract iron ore in Conceicao do Mato Dentro, Minas Gerais, a pipeline of 523 km, which will go through 32 counties to deliver the ore in São Joao da Barra in Rio de Janeiro. In São Joao da Barra the construction of a private port complex is planned (under the responsibility of the company LLX) which will distribute part of the ore to steel mills to be installed inside the complex and another part is exported through ships to Europe, United States and China.

Basic Data
NameImpacts of iron ore mining in Conceicao do Mato Dentro/MG, Brazil
ProvinceMinas Gerais
SiteConceicao do Mato Dentro e Alvorada de Minas
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
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Iron ore
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIt is planned to produce 26.5 million tons of iron ore during 40 years.

The Minas-Rio Project includes the construction of a pipeline of 523 km, which will go through 32 counties and will make the transport of ores to the Porto do Acu, in the municipality of Sao Joao da Barra, Rio de Janeiro.

The pipeline should consume 2,500 cubic meters of water per hour of Rio do Peixe, equivalent to 9% of its historic flow in dry periods.

A dam of 5 km in diameter will be built to receive 25 million tons of waste.
Level of Investment (in USD)8000000000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2008
Company Names or State EnterprisesAnglo American from United Kingdom
Relevant government actorsInstituto Estadual de Florestas IEF);, Secretaria do Estado de Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (SEMAD);, Instituto Mineiro de Gestao das Aguas (IGAM);, Fundacao Estadual do Meio Ambiente (FEAM);, Instituto Estadual do Patrimonio Historico e Artistico (IEPHA);, Instituto do Patrimonio Historico e Artistico Nacional (IPHAN);, Ministerio Publico Federal (MPF);, Ministerio Publico Estadual de Minas Gerais (MPE/MG); Defensoria Publica de Minas Gerais (DPMG);, Prefeitura Municipal de Conceicao do Mato Dentro
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersComissao Pastoral da Terra (CPT);, Movimento Pelas Serras e Aguas de Minas
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation 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
Public campaigns
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project continues to generate the impacts reported.
Sources and Materials

MAPA DE CONFLITOS ENVOLVENDO INJUSTICA AMBIENTAL E SAUDE NO BRASIL. Mineraco e transposicao de aguas para grande empresa e licenciada de forma irregular pelos governos estadual e federal, condenando uma das areas com patrimonio natural e cultural mais sig
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FURBINO, Zulmira. Disputa entre mineradoras e preservacao deixa cidade em pe de guerra. O Estado de Minas, 28 mar. 2010. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 14 mar. 2013.
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BRASIL, Claudia. Beneficios e prejuizos para os municipios que dependem da exploracao. Radio Camara, 06 fev. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 14 mar. 2013.
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Mineradora descumpre acordo com Ministerio Publico em Conceicao do Mato Dentro. O Estado de Minas, 01 abr. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 14 mar. 2013.
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UCHOAS, Leandro. Do outro lado do mineroduto. Brasil de Fato, 26 jan. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 14 mar. 2013.
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Anglo-American website
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Meta Information
ContributorDiogo Rocha
Last update11/02/2019