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Bauxite mining in Juruti, Para, Brazil


Description

The urban population, settlers and riverains of the municipality of Juruti are suffering the social and environmental impacts arising from the installation of a bauxite mining by Omnia Minrios Ltda (Alcoa Alumnio S/A) in the region.

Since 2006 the water quality of the streams and the Jar Lake, which supplies Juruti, has been showing signs of compromise. Social movements, militants in the region have denounced the damage of water resources, reduction of fish, preventing the right to come and go from the bordering, decreased Brazil nut collecting, andiroba and other protein sources and resources of plants used for medicinal purposes.

At a public hearing held in 2007, a request for suspension of license for Alcoas project was formalised by the agronomist Marcial Cano Mota to prosecutors Raimundo Moraes, Gianne Pauxis Fort Figueiredo and Prosecutor Daniel Azeredo Avelino.

At the end of May 2007, five prosecutors and two public prosecutors handed over to Governor Ana Jlia Carepa recommendation of cancellation of the license of Omnia to exploit bauxite in Juruti. The MP requested the review of licensing, to admire the obligation to compensate for the social and economic impacts of the mine in Juruti.

In addition to the mine, a railway is part of the enterprise. This fact that intensifies the related environmental impacts. As a way of compensating, the company proposes the creation of a conservation unit in Juruti Velho Lake region, which would prevent the access of local communities to various natural resources.

In January 28, 2009, about 1500 people blocked, the area of the railway, highway, port, and has occupied the entrance to the companys operational base in protest against the impacts of the project. Despite protests, in September 2009 the Government of Par State has granted operating license to Alcoa. The conflict remains today. Among the main opponents of the project is the Associao das Comunidades da Regio de Juruti Velho (Acorjuve).

Basic Data

NameBauxite mining in Juruti, Para, Brazil
CountryBrazil
ProvincePara
SiteJuruti
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
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific Commodities
Aluminum/Bauxite

Project Details and Actors

Project DetailsIt is estimated that in the area of the project will extract approximately 280 million tons of bauxite.

Alcoa expects to extract between 6 and 10 million tons of bauxite per year.

Project Area (in hectares)50000
Level of Investment (in USD)350000000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2005
Company Names or State EnterprisesOmnia Minerios Ltda from Brazil
Alcoa from United States of America
Relevant government actorsMinisterio Publico Estadual - MPE, Instituto Nacional de Colonizacao e Reforma Agraria - INCRA, Ministerio Publico Federal - MPF
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAssociacao das Comunidades da Regiao de Juruti Velho - Acorjuve, Associacao Comunitaria da Gleba Curumucuri

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases
Potential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The mine is still in operation and the social and environmental impacts of the project have not been mitigated.

Sources and Materials

References

puc/media/Wanderley_geopuc03.pdf
http://publique.rdc.pucrio.br/geo

WANDERLEY, Luiz Jardim de Moraes. Conflitos e impactos ambientais na exploracao dos recursos minerais na Amazonia -

(o artigo integra Dissertacao de Mestrado -UFRJ/2008).

Links

ALMEIDA, Rogrio. Mineracao em Juruti: pressao de camponeses forca negociacao entre a Alcoa, impactados e o Estado (10/02/2009).
http://rogerioalmeidafuro.blogspot.com/2009/02/mineracao-em-juruti-pressao-de.html

Audiencia publica: populacao denuncia contaminacao das aguas pela Alcoa (nota postada em 26/07/2007, mas redigida em 03/05/2007).
http://www.prpa.mpf.gov.br/noticias/2007/audiencia-publica-populacao-denuncia-contaminacao-das-aguas-pela-alcoa/

GASPAR, Renata. Ministerio Publico pede suspensao de atividades da Alcoa no Para. 04/05/2007. Disponvel em Link: Publico pede suspensao de atividades da Alcoa no Para/10564
http://www.riosvivos.org.br/Noticia/Ministerio

Comunidade bloqueia acesso a Alcoa e MPF/PA pede presenca do governo para discutir reivindicacoes (04/02/2009).
http://www.prpa.mpf.gov.br/news/2009/noticias/comunidade-fecha-acesso-a-alcoa-em-juruti-mpf-pede-presenca-do-governo-do-estado-para-discutir-reivindicacoes/

(com fotos).

Meta Information

ContributorDiogo Rocha
Last update08/04/2014