The Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development of the State of Minas Gerais (Semad) suspended the mining company Tamisa’s license to operate in the Serra do Curral area. Licensing was suspended for violating the rights of traditional peoples in the region. The Justice had already suspended the licenses of the mining company (which intends to build the so-called Serra do Taquaril Mining Complex on the site.
According to the secretariat, the suspension of the licenses took place “according to a court decision and in compliance with the deadline and applicable rules”. The TRF-6 decision that suspended the licensing meets a request from the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) in a public civil action that points to a violation of the rights of the quilombola community Mango Nzungo Kaiango. They would have learned about the mining project only through the press, which would be contrary to articles in the Federal Constitution that protect the culture of traditional peoples.
In addition, the MPF accused non-compliance with the International Labor Organization (ILO). This is an international treaty ratified by Brazil that guarantees traditional populations the right to prior, free and informed consultation whenever any legislative or administrative measure is likely to affect them directly. There was also the possibility that the real dimension of the enterprise was not clear to the authorities of the State Environmental Policy Council (Copam), which granted the license.
According to MPF investigations, released in May, there are indications that “the approval by Copam of the Serra do Taquaril Mining Complex may have considered an area much smaller than the actual size of the project, which would significantly impact the analysis of the consequences of its implementation, with the underestimation of the real environmental impacts”, explained the Public Prosecutor Carlos Bruno Ferreira da Silva.
Semad added that the company would await the conclusion of the conversations in court. “There was already an agreement between the State, the entrepreneur, the State Public Ministry and the affected municipalities, with the Court of Justice of Minas Gerais (TJMG), so that no action is taken by the company while discussions continue within the scope of the Judicial Center for Conflict Resolution and 2nd degree citizenship (Cejusc)”, said the secretariat, in a note.
Serra do Curral is considered a postcard of the capital of Minas Gerais. In addition to harboring a great diversity of species of fauna and flora, it is considered a historical and geographical reference of the city. On its slopes, there are archaeological remains from the old village of Curral Del Rei, which was chosen to give way to the capital of Minas Gerais at the end of the 19th century.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News