Blog Entry

Will Canadian Mining Destroy the Amazon?

Panel: Will Canadian Mining Destroy the Amazon? Understanding the Belo Sun Project's Threats to Biodiversity Loss

Location: Salle polyvalente (SH-4800) Pavillon Sherbrooke de l’UQAM
200 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal, QC H2X 1X5
To join online, register here.

This panel discussion is part of the #ForaBeloSun - Belo Sun Out of the Amazon Campaign, to raise awareness and expose the connections between escalating deforestation rates, violent conflict and threats to biodiversity loss associated with Canadian mining in the Amazon.

Belo Sun Mining Corp.'s Volta Grande Gold project aims to open Brazil's largest open-pit gold mine in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The use of toxic substances for gold processing threatens the already fragile Xingu River Basin, responsible for bathing the vast ecosystem of the Volta Grande region, also affected by the polemic Belo Monte hydroeletric dam located less than 10km away from the proposed mining site.

Violent harassment of locals, disrespect for constitutional rights and international commitment to FPIC (free, prior and informed consent and consultation processes) occur while Canadian mining company executives and high-ranking government officials praise the dismantling of Brazil's environmental legislation and mining regulations. In this sense, one of the objectives of this panel will also be to demystify the Canadian mining model and its practice of financial speculation , which has been used as an example of a "sustainable" model in Brazil - something highly controversial.

Brazilian Indigenous leaders, Canadian civil society representatives, and Amazon Watch will discuss the multiple threats that this industrial gold mining project presents to the Amazon Rainforest and its peoples. The event will include the launch of the publication The Risks of Investing in Belo Sun exposing how this Canadian mining company's plans pose significant risks to investors, biodiversity and forest guardians.

As one of the areas with the greatest biodiversity on Earth, we are facing the true possibility of an ecocide in the Amazon. We need preventive action, urgently. That is why this panel aims to call for international solidarity efforts against this tragedy, which begins with a call for the complete withdrawal of Belo Sun's Volta Grande Gold project. In the midst of a climate emergency, putting at risk countless endemic species while violating the rights of Indigenous peoples and riverine communities, protectors of the Amazon rainforest, based on empty development promises carved out by the mining industry can no longer be an option.


  • Dinamam Tuxá: coordinator of the Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB)
  • Puyr Tembé: President of the Federation of Indigenous Peoples of Pará (FEPIPA)
  • Cacique Giliarde Juruna: Indigenous leader from the region impacted by Belo Sun (via zoom)
  • TBC Christian Poirier / Gabriela Sarmet: Amazon Watch Program director / AW Brazil Campaign Advisor
  • Joan Kyuek: Community organizer, Canadian researcher and author of Unearthing Justice (via zoom)

Moderator: Viviana Herrera: Mining Watch Canada, Latin America Program Coordinator

The event is organized by Amazon Watch and MiningWatch Canada, in partnership with APIB (Brazil's Indigenous People Association), FEPIPA (Federation of Indigenous Peoples of Pará), ANMIGA (National Articulation of Ancestral Warriors Women), and with the support of Earthworks and Committee for Human Rights in Latin America (CDHAL).