Mining companies back away from Brazil’s Indigenous areas – by Fabiano Maisonnave (Associated Press/Los Angeles Times – May 20, 2022)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Some of the world’s biggest mining companies have withdrawn requests to research and extract minerals on Indigenous land in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and have repudiated Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s efforts to legalize mining activity in the areas.

The Brazilian Mining Assn., which represents about 130 companies, conducted an internal survey of its members earlier this year, according to Raul Jungmann, its president. For the first time in decades, none of the companies has current research or mining applications for gold, tin, nickel, iron or other ores in Indigenous areas, he said. Neither the survey nor its results have been reported previously.

Members of the association, which accounts for 85% of Brazil’s legally produced ore, include mining giants Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Vale. The Associated Press contacted those three companies.

Rio Tinto confirmed it retracted its applications for research concessions in 2019. Anglo American did the same in March 2021. Vale withdrew its requests for research and mining concessions over the last year.

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