MAC/20: Mines and Communities

BRAZIL

Published by MAC on 2007-02-27

BRAZIL

Serra Pelada: Gold miners and CVRD reach agreement over study-

O Liberal, Belim

27th February 2007

Today (27th) in Brasilia, the Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD) signed an agreement with Comigasp (Miners and Claim Miners Cooperative of Serra Pelada) conceding some 100 hectares in the Serra Pelada region of southeastern Pará.

At the height of gold mining at Serra Pelada in the 1980s, some 100,000 men worked there. The Ministry of Mines and Energy's plans, however, do not include a return to the gold rush. The idea is to mechanize the gold mining if it is found to be viable.

"The agreement is not to reopen the claim mine. What will take place is land title security for industrial mining in the region", explained the Secretary for Geology, Mining and Transformation of the Ministry, Cláudio Scliar. "Therefore, the miners should not be under the impression that activities in the region will start up again."

Mining in the area has been suspended since 1992. Geological estimates are that there are some 20 tons of gold yet to be mined in the 100-hectare area made available. The ore, according to available studies, can only be mined industrially, as it is no longer near the surface.

According to the Manager of Mining Rights at Vale do Rio Doce, Fernando Greco, the company made the decision to concede the area to maintain good relations with claim miners in the region. In the agreement, they will have the right to all ore extracted from the 100 hectares of Serra Pelada, but will have to turn over any lime found in the region. The material is used in the pig iron manufacturing process, produced by CVRD in the region.

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