Mining in Brazil

Mining in Brazil is centered on the extraction of gold, copper, tin, iron and bauxite.


Mining today

In 1988 Brazil was the 5th largest gold producer in the world. Brazil mined iron, gold, tin, copper and Bauxite (contains aluminium).

Environmental Impact

Satellite picture of Carajás mine showing soil degradation.

The mining activity has caused severe environmental impact in Brazil area. Among the different types of environmental degradation, mining activities has caused landscape degradation, erosion, soil contamination, groundwater and surface water pollution.

Further information: Bento Rodrigues dam disaster

The Bento Rodrigues dam disaster is considered to be worse environmental incident in the history of mining in Brazil.[2] On November 5, 2015, two iron ore tailings dams of Samarco ( a joint-venture between Vale S.A. and BHP Billiton) collapsed. [3] The mud containing by-products of mining flowed down, destroying completely Bento Rodrigues, a sub-district of Mariana, and invaded other neighbouring cities, such as Barra Longa, causing at least six casualties, and destroying at least 200 homes. The mud reached the Rio Doce, contaminated the water, and compromised the water supply of cities in Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo that lay by the river. Several species of fish died to the low oxygen levels in the water, and up till today scientists could not estimate the total environmental impact.

See also


  1. Conjunto de ruínas do Gongo Soco (in Portuguese), IEPHA: Instituto Estadual do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico de Minas Gerais, retrieved 2016-08-12
  2. "Rompimento de barragens causa "maior dano ambiental da história de Minas", diz promotor" [The collapse of the Samaco's dams has caused the "largest environmental disaster in the history of Minas Gerais", says public prosecutor] (in Portuguese). Record. 2015-11-05. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  3. Shasta Darlington (2015-11-07). "Dam break sweeps away homes in Brazil, killing at least 1 person". CNN. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
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