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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

Name of conflict:Impacts of iron ore mining in Conceicao do Mato Dentro/MG, Brazil
State or province:Minas Gerais
Location of conflict:Conceicao 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 commodities:Electricity
Iron ore

Project Details and Actors

Project details

It 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 for the conflictive project8000000000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2008
Company names or state enterprises:Anglo American from United Kingdom
Relevant government actors:Instituto 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 organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Comissao Pastoral da Terra (CPT);, Movimento Pelas Serras e Aguas de Minas

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation 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-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project continues to generate the impacts reported.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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

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.

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.

Anglo-American website

BRASIL, Claudia. Beneficios e prejuizos para os municipios que dependem da exploracao. Radio Camara, 06 fev. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 14 mar. 2013.

UCHOAS, Leandro. Do outro lado do mineroduto. Brasil de Fato, 26 jan. 2012. Disponivel em: Acesso em: 14 mar. 2013.

Meta information

Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:219