Phosphate mining in Anitápolis, Brazil

Since 2007 local communities are organized against a phosphate mining project in Anitápolis which would destroy part of Mata Atlântica.


Around 1920, it was discovered that the Pine River Valley, near the municipality of Anitapolis, had one of the largest phosphate reserves of Brazil. Studies carried out since 1960, described the characteristics of mineral existing in the region. In 1987, the Adubos Trevo company, then part of Bunge group, began buying land in the region aimed at exploiting existing ore. About 1.800 hectares were acquired since then. In 2001, the Industria de Fosfatados Catarinense (IFC), a joint venture of Bunge and Yara Brasil Fertilizantes, asked for environmental licenses for exploitation of a deposit of 300 hectares of phosphate in that area for a period of 30 years.

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Basic Data
NamePhosphate mining in Anitápolis, Brazil
ProvinceSanta Catarina
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional 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
Mineral processing
Chemical industries
Specific CommoditiesPhosphate
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project area is 1800 hectares.

The deposit is estimated at 300 hectares.

The mine must extract 1.8 million tons of phosphate per year.

Should use 200 tons of sulfuric acid per year.

Can produce 540 thousand tons of Granulated Superphosphate per year.

Phosphate is used in the production of fertilizers.
Project Area (in hectares)1800
Level of Investment (in USD)250000000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population360000
Start Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesIndustria de Fosfatados Catarinense (IFC)
Yara Brazil Fertilizantes S.A from Norway - subsidiary of Norsk Hydro
Bunge from United States of America
Prominer Projetos S/C Ltda from Brazil
Caruso Jr Estudos Ambientais and Engenharia Ltda from Brazil
Adubos Trevo from Brazil - acquired by Yara in 2000
Vale (Vale) from Brazil - formerly named Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (Brazil)
Relevant government actorsFundacao Estadual do Meio Ambiente do Estado de Santa Catarina - FATMA, Ministerio Publico Federal - MPF, Tribunal Regional Federal - TRF, Governo do Estado de Santa Catarina, Prefeitura Municipal de Anitapolis
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAssociacao Montanha Viva, Associacao Empresarial de Brao do Norte - Acivale, Associacao de Agricultores Ecologicos das Encostas da Serra Geral - AGRECO, Comisso da Pastoral da Terra - CPT
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Fisher people
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
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, 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, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) , Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The environmental licensing of the project has been suspended in court and the company has not yet succeeded in reversing the suspension in superior judicial instances.
Sources and Materials



MARIMON, Maria Paula Casagrande. Parecer ao Ministerio Publico Federal para subsidiar a discussao do EIA/RIMA referente ao Projeto Anitapolis apresentado pela Industria de Fosfatados Catarinense (IFC). Pena Digital, 21 mai. 2011.

SCHEIBE, Luiz Fernando. Parecer ao Ministerio Publico Federal para subsidiar a discussao do EIA/RIMA referente ao Projeto Anitapolis apresentado pela Industria de Fosfatados Catarinense (IFC). Pena Digital, 21 mai. 2011.

Instalação de fosfateira em Anitápolis (SC) gera reação e é vetada pela Justiça
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MOVIMENTOS sociais realizam manifesto contra a fosfateira de Anitapolis. Pena Digital, 23 ago. 2010.
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Instalação de fosfateira em Anitápolis gera polêmica
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Extraçao de fosfato ameaça Mata Atlântica Brasilera
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Media Links

Processo para instalação de mineradora em Anitápolis preocupa moradores
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Projeto de mineradora em Anitápolis causa apreensão em ambientalistas
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Other Documents

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Mountains in Anitápolis where mining will take place
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Meta Information
ContributorDiogo Rocha
Last update20/03/2019