Bauxite mining and deforestation in Oriximina (Para), Brazil

Quilombola communities fighting against logging and mining to defend the integrity of their territories in Pará, Brazil


The municipality of Oriximina, located in the West of Para, has today 35 quilombolas communities spread over 9 ethnic territories. Among these communities, 25 have the titles to their land. The others have been waiting for several decades for the official recognition of their territories by the Brazilian State.

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Basic Data
NameBauxite mining and deforestation in Oriximina (Para), Brazil
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Specific Commodities
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsMRN has ability to extract 18 million tons of bauxite per year.

The bauxite extraction is made at a depth of eight feet.

Trains with 46 wagons are used to transport bauxite from the mine until the Trombetas Port.

From the port the ore is transported by ships with capacity for up to 60 thousand tons. A waterway is maintained to allow the passage of ships.
Project Area (in hectares)150000
Level of Investment (in USD)750000000
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1970
Company Names or State EnterprisesMineracao Rio do Norte (MRN) from Brazil
Alcoa from United States of America - the company has 9,62% of MRNs shares
Hydro from Norway - it has 5%
Companhia Brazileira do Aluminio (CBA) from Brazil - it has 10%
Rio Tinto Alcan (Rio Tinto) from Canada - it has 12%
BHP Billiton (BHP) from Australia - it has 14,8%
Rio Tinto (Rio Tinto ) from Australia
Vale (Vale) from Brazil - owns 40%
Relevant government actorsAdvocacia Geral da Uniao - AGU, Departamento Nacional de Producao Mineral - DNPM, Instituto Chico Mendes de Biodiversidade ICMBio, Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazonia - Imazon, Instituto Nacional de Colonizacao e Reforma Agraria - INCRA, Instituto Nacional de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renovaveis - IBAMA, Ministrio Publico Federal - MPF, Ministerio Publico do Trabalho - MPT, Governo do Estado do Para, Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Para - ALESPA, Instituto de Terras do Para - ITERPA, Instituto de Desenvolvimento Economico, Social e Ambiental do Para - IDESP, Instituto de Desenvolvimento Florestal do Estado do Para - Ideflor, Ministerio Publico Estadual do Para - MPE-PA
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSupporters: Associacao das Comunidades Remanescentes de Quilombos do Municipio de Oriximina - ARQMO, Coordenao das Associaes das Comunidades Remanescentes de Quilombos do Par - Malungu, Comissao Pro-Indio de Sao Paulo - CPI-SP
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents
Potential: Accidents, Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases, Deaths
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Land demarcation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Mining continues to cause impacts to communities and the problems related to them were not tackled effectively.
Sources and Materials

ORGANIZACAO INTERNACIONAL DO TRABALHO. Convencao 169 sobre Povos Indigenas e Tribais.

BRASIL. Presidencia da Republica. Casa Civil. LEI No 9.985, DE 18 DE JULHO DE 2000: Regulamenta o art. 225, 1o, incisos I, II, III e VII da Constituicao Federal, institui o Sistema Nacional de Unidades de Conservacao da Natureza e da outras providencias.


Globalization in the Brazilian Amazon Region: Conflicting Answers from Quilombo Communities
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Report: Quilombola Lands in Oriximin: Pressure and Threats
[click to view]

WANDERLEY, Luiz Jardim de Moraes. O Grande Projeto Minerador e Seus Impactos Territoriais de Localizacao: O Caso da MRN Em Oriximina-PA. Grupo de Pesquisa Mineracao e Desenvolvimento Sustentavel. Acesso em: 13 jul. 2009.
[click to view]

MAPA DA INJUSTICA AMBIENTAL E SAUDE NO BRASIL. Poder estatal e dominacao territorial contra os quilombolas extrativistas do Trombetas.
[click to view]

ANDRADE, L.M.M. Terras Quilombolas em Oriximin: presses e ameaas. Comisso Pr-ndio de So Paulo. So Paulo: out. 2011, 44 p. 2011.

Book: Antes a Água era Cristalina, Pura e Sadia – Percepções quilombolas e ribeirinhas dos impactos e riscos da mineração em Oriximiná, Pará- Comissão Pró-Índio de São Paulo


PYL, Bianca. MPF convoca reuniao para tratar de exploracao mineral em Terras Quilombolas do Para. Brasil de Fato, 23 out. 2012.

MINISTERIO PUBLICO FEDERAL. Justica suspende desmatamento da Mineracao Rio do Norte em Oriximina (PA). 10 ago. 2011. Available at:

MPF/PA questiona IBAMA sobre regularidade de exploracao mineraria na floresta nacional (flona) Saraca-Taquera. Ecodebate, 21 set. 2012.
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PROCURADORIA REGIONAL DO TRABALHO DA 8th REGIAO. Mineracao Rio do Norte e condenada a pagar mais de 650 mil em danos morais coletivos por praticar excesso de jornada. 30 nov. 2012.

Brazil: The toxic impact of bauxite mining in Oriximiná
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A guerra secreta pela bauxita
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Media Links

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Other Documents

MRN Dam (lake with reddish colour water) and Quilombo Boa Vista on the other bank. Photo: Carlos Penteado.
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A MRN tem 22 barragens de rejeito de bauxita e areia e ainda pretende ampliar sua área de extração Foto: Carlos Penteado/Comissão Pró-Índio de São Paulo
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Meta Information
ContributorDiogo Rocha
Last update14/03/2019