In 2022, Brazil has exported for nearly 5 billion dollars of gold worldwide. In the biggest country of South America, gold is produced both by industrial mining companies such as AngloGold Ashanti and thousands of artisanal and small-scale miners, called garimpos.
Encouraged by the Brazilian government to reduce its debt in the 1980s, artisanal mining in the Amazonian region, has seen a boom in the 2010s. The increase of gold prices has been a key driving factor. But when Jaïr Bolsonaro came to power, he openly encouraged the destruction of the rainforest through increased extraction by miners and the intermediaries they sell their gold to.
In states such as Pará, illegal mining has skyrocketed. The effects on indigenous people (violence, loss of living areas) and on the environment (especially through the use of mercury) have been significant.
Vast amounts of gold mined in Brazil arrive in Europe. But nowadays, it’s really difficult, due to the opacity of the supply chain, to know where the gold that arrives in Europe has been mined. And in which conditions. All over the supply chains, intermediaries operate in a near total secrecy. The Gold Chain investigate the reasons of that lack of transparency in Europe, the key refineries play in the opaque context and the impacts gold mining has on Brazilian populations. We also have investigated the role of the London Bullion Market Association and other certification schemes and the flaws in the certification process.
- La trace de l’or, Medor, 07/09/2023
- Importations d’or : un secteur brûlant, Medor, 07/09/2023
- La rotta verso l’Italia dell’oro illegale estratto in Amazzonia, Domani, 17/09/2023
- Megarrefinaria de ouro no Pará tem sócio acusado de comércio ilegal de minério, Repórter Brasil, 17/10/2023
need resources for your own investigative story?
Journalismfund Europe's flexible grants programmes enable journalists to produce relevant public interest stories with a European mind-set from international, national, and regional perspectives.
support independent cross-border investigative journalism
We rely on your support to continue the work that we do. Make a gift of any amount today.