Mining companies can violate Indigenous rights long before they start operating, and the case of Potássio do Brasil is an example in this regard. Its Potássio Autazes Project, scheduled to be installed in the municipality of Autazes, 110 km from Manaus (AM), is expected to extract 770 million tons of potassium, an essential mineral in fertilizer production.
Pressure and the intensification of conflicts are among the impacts generated by the process carried out unbeknownst to local peoples and communities. The company did not respect the right of consultation of Indigenous communities, especially the Mura people. Once started,
Potássio's activities would affect areas of the Jauary and Paracuhuba Indigenous Lands,
with enormous risks to this region, in particular the
contamination of essential water sources for the life of the communities.
In 2021, without the knowledge of Brazilian authorities, and before the legal process for its installation has been concluded,
Potássio do Brasil signed an agreement with the Chinese construction company CITIC
to build a major mining complex in Autazes. The multi-billion-dollar contract was signed at the end of 2020 without any consultation with other parties involved. With this contract, the company is not complying with a court decision that suspended environmental licensing until consultation with the Mura people was concluded, and which prevented the company from taking any steps
“without prior judicial authorization”.
With 19 active mining applications in the ANM which overlap Indigenous lands, Potássio do Brasil had its research reports rejected in 12 of the procedures. The people most severely impacted by the requests are the Mura, from the Jauary Indigenous land.