Environmentalists are demanding urgent action to halt an aquatic gold rush along one of the Amazon River’s largest tributaries, where hundreds of illegal goldmining dredges have converged in search of the precious metal.
The vast flotilla – so large one local website compared it to a floating neighbourhood – reportedly began forming on the Madeira River earlier this month after rumours that a large gold deposit had been found in the vicinity.
“They’re making a gram of gold an hour down there,” one prospector claims in an audio recording obtained by the Estado de São Paulo newspaper.
Danicley Aguiar, an Amazon-based Greenpeace activist who flew over the mining flotilla on Tuesday, said he had been stunned by the magnitude of the illegal operation unfolding just 75 miles east of the city of Manaus.
For the rest of this article: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/24/amazon-gold-rush-madeira-river-environmentalists