A search of applications at the National Mining Agency identified that other major global mining companies are also interested in exploring Amazonian Indigenous lands. These include Glencore, AngloGold Ashanti and Rio Tinto. Despite the relatively low number of applications in their name, the existence of these applications indicates interest from these companies, and the threats that they represent, if legislation like Bill 191/2020 were to advance.
As of November 5, 2021, the Swiss company Glencore had three active applications to prospect gold and copper submitted to the ANM overlapping the Kayapó and Xikrin do Cateté Indigenous Lands in Pará state, two territories that are already highly impacted by Vale’s operations. Additionally, Glencore has expanded its interests in Brazil, recently becoming a principal shareholder in CSN Mineração, one of Brazil’s leading iron ore mining companies.
Similarly, the South African firm AngloGold Ashanti has three applications for gold prospecting, also on Kayapó lands in Pará. With almost 200 years of operations in Brazil, primarily in Minas Gerais state, the company is known for recurring cases of silicosis in worker’s lungs due to negligence. In Colombia, AngloGold is accused by Indigenous communities of usurping part of their territory, not consulting them about operations, and threatening those who oppose the plans of the mining company.
The Australian firm Rio Tinto phas 14 active mining applications in the ANM system for exploration of aluminum in areas that overlap the Indigenous Lands of Rio Parú D’este, Kaxuyana-Tunayana and Zoe, all in Pará. The mining company is notorious for its rights violations against Aboriginal peoples in Australia. In 2020, the company destroyed traditional peoples’ sacred locations, including ancient caverns located in the Juukan Gorge, which date back 46,000 years, during the expansion of their iron ore mine.
These companies’ history of violating the rights of Indigenous peoples and destroying nature clearly shows what they are capable of.