Last update:
2020-02-02

Titanium mining project (Projeto Retiro) in São José do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil

Project stopped after an amendment to the Municipal Master Plan was presented by the movement "We do not want mining in São José do Norte", and approved by the City Council and mayor in 2019.


Description:

The idea to create a mining complex in São José do Norte was already in play around the year 2000. Due to difficulties regarding environmental licenses, the project was halted for many years [12]. Untill 2014, the Rio Grande Mineração S/A (RGM) requested na environmental permit to “Retiro Project” to extract titanium at a site of circa 30km x 1.5km situated between the Patos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, in the municipality of São José do Norte, in the bottom south of the Rio Grande do Sul state. The area is formed by dunes and sandbanks inhabited by fishermen and small farmers and is in a region considered to be at a Very High priority on the Ministry of Environment's map of “Priority Areas in Brazil” [9].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Titanium mining project (Projeto Retiro) in São José do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil
Country:Brazil
State or province:Rio Grande do Sul
Location of conflict:São José do Norte
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 processing
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Titanium ores
Zirconium, rutile, ilmenite
Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Reserves of 531.2 million tons of ore, with about 17 million tons of heavy minerals that can be mined and processed. It is expected to operate for 21 years in a 1.5 km range with an average width of approximately 30 km in length [8] and with a turnover of around 13.75 million m³ [9]

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Level of Investment:120,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:01/04/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Rio Grande Mineração S/A from Brazil
Relevant government actors:IBAMA
City Council of São José do Norte
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:1) Não Queremos Mineração em São José do Norte
2) Comitê de Combate à Megamineração no Rio Grande do Sul - https://www.facebook.com/ComiteCombateMegamineracao/?modal=admin_todo_tour
3) Movimento pela Soberania Popular na Mineração - mamnacional.org.br/
4) Fórum da Lagoa dos Patos - https://forumlagoadospatos.furg.br/
5) Laboratório Interdisciplinar Mapeamento em Ambientes, Resistência, Sociedade e Solidariedade (Maréss)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Food insecurity (crop damage), Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights, Other socio-economic impacts, Land dispossession
Other socio-economic impactsThe end of the production of various vegetables and agroecological production, with a reduction in the quality and commercial value of agricultural and fishery products [2].
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:So far, the project has been stopped, as a result of the amendment to the Municipal Master Plan. The proposed amendment was presented by the social movement "We do not want mining in São José do Norte", approved by the City Council and sanctioned by the mayor. This decision protected fishermen, small farmers, the environment in a region considered to be a Very High priority on the Ministry of Environment's map of “Priority Areas of Brazil”
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

[7] LEI COMPLEMENTAR Nº 017, DE 10 DE MAIO DE 2019 (Plano Diretor de São José do Norte)
[click to view]

LEI COMPLEMENTAR Nº 017, DE 10 DE MAIO DE 2019 (Plano Diretor de São José do Norte)
[click to view]

Univerdidade Federal do Rio Grande: "Impactos da mineração nos pescadores artesanais são debatidos em encontro". Published December 18, 2019, last modified on January 21, 2019.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Rio Grande Mineração S/A: "Audiências Públicas". Published on February 23, 2015.
[click to view]

[2] Brasil de Fato: "População de São José do Norte (RS) manifesta insatisfação com projeto de mineração". Published on May 17, 2019
[click to view]

[3] Revista News: "Empresa de mineração apresenta projeto para explorar titânio em São José do Norte". Published on September 03, 2019.
[click to view]

SUL 21: "Carta de São José do Norte: projetos de mineração representam um 'projeto de morte'". Published on December 16, 2018
[click to view]

Brasil de Fato: "Plano Diretor de São José do Norte (RS) proíbe mineração no município". Published on June 24, 2019.
[click to view]

[11] Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG): "Impactos da mineração nos pescadores artesanais são debatidos em encontro". Published on December 18, 2018.
[click to view]

[9] O ECO: "Mineradoras se voltam para o Rio Grande do Sul com quatro grandes projetos". Published on April 17, 2019.
[click to view]

SUL 21: "“Projetos de mineração provocarão colapso social e ambiental na metade sul do RS”. Published February 25, 2018.
[click to view]

[10] Portal Andes: "Carta de São José do Norte".
[click to view]

[6] Rio Grande Mineração S/A: "Audiências Públicas". Published on February 23, 2015.
[click to view]

[5] Brasil de Fato: "Plano Diretor de São José do Norte (RS) proíbe mineração no município". Published on June 24, 2019.
[click to view]

[12] Jornal do Comércio: "Projeto de mineração em São José do Norte avança". Published on September 05, 2014.
[click to view]

[4] SUL 21: “Projetos de mineração provocarão colapso social e ambiental na metade sul do RS”. Published on February 25, 2018.
[click to view]

O ECO: "Mineradoras se voltam para o Rio Grande do Sul com quatro grandes projetos". Published on April 17, 2019.
[click to view]

Portal Andes: "Carta de São José do Norte".
[click to view]

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande: "Impactos da mineração nos pescadores artesanais são debatidos em encontro". Published December 18, 2019, last modified on January 21, 2019.

Jornal do Comércio: "Projeto de mineração em São José do Norte avança". Published on September 05, 2014.
[click to view]

[2] Brasil de Fato: "População de São José do Norte (RS) manifesta insatisfação com projeto de mineração". Published on May 17, 2019.
[click to view]

[1] SUL 21: "Carta de São José do Norte: projetos de mineração representam um 'projeto de morte'". Published on December 16, 2018
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[13] Assembléia Legislativa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. Empresa de mineração apresenta empreendimento a ser instalado em São José do Norte
[click to view]

[13]
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Marcos Todt, PUCRS, [email protected]
Last update02/02/2020
Comments
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