Thorianite is a radioactive mineral rich in thorium, uranium and lead isotopes. In Brazil, thorianite is abundant in the country’s most northern state of Amapá, mainly at the Araguari’s river basin in the Tumucumaque National Park. The mineral was first discovered in Amapá in the 80s and started being illegally extracted by artisanal miners (known as garimpeiros). According to Brasil’s legislation, the exploitation of radioactive ores is a Federal Government’s monopoly. Despite of this, Thorianite’s illegal trade is common in the region. It is carried by smugglers and facilitated by loose surveillance from different local and national institutions. Furthermore, its similarity to tantalite, a mineral used as an alloy for cutting-edge industries, makes it easier to convey without being noticed. In the black market, smugglers can sell a kilogram of thorianite for approximately 300 USD. Most of it is thought to cross the nearby border with French Guyana, where it is later sent to different destinations such as China, Russia or North Korea. Due to its composition (approximately 80% throrium, 4-8% uranium and 10% radiogenic lead), thorianite may be used for different purposes. According to an ex director from Brazil’s National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN), the most probable scenario is that thorianite is being smuggled for its lead content, used in the refrigeration of nuclear reactors and to produce neutron bombs. In the early 2000s, the Federal Police (FP) has initiated a series of investigations that unveiled a complex network behind the ore’s smuggling from Brazil. As a result, they were able to apprehend different quantities of thorianite between 2004 and 2008. Since then, the FP has suspended any further operations until CNEN builds a deposit for the material apprehended. Amapá’s police representatives have stated that storing any further thorianite in the battalion’s headquarters in Santana is putting them and the nearby population at risk of high exposure to the radioactive material. They demand the construction of a deposit to keep thorianite before the CNEM takes it to another location. So far, the Nuclear Energy Commission has not proposed any solution to this problem and even claimed the matter is beyond their responsibilities. Moreover, a CNEM’s spokesperson has stated that there is no risk to the population as long as they do not manipulate it frequently. Nonetheless, there have also been reports of children playing in places where the mineral is stored. So far, CNEM has limited its action to alert local people of the risks they expose themselves when handling the material. Even if further studies are required, frequent exposure and manipulation of thorianite carries a potential risk of health damage, namely the development of cancer. This fact has caused some apprehension on communities close to CNEM’s headquarters in the central State of Minas Gerais, where some of the confiscated thorianite is being taken. There have been protests in front of the Municipal Assembly with people expressing their worries about storing conditions and what CNEM’s does with the radioactive material.