Locals ask Brazil to suspend Belo Sun’s gold mine licence
A group of locals is asking the Brazilian State of Pará to suspend a recently issued construction licence for Belo Sun Mining’s (TSX:BSX) Volta Grande project, expected to become the South American country’s largest gold mine.
Opponents to the project claim the Canadian miner intends to use cyanide to extract the precious metal, depositing toxic substance in dam located just 1.5 km from the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon, local news outlet Globo1 reports (in Portuguese).
Opponents claim the miner intends to use cyanide, depositing toxic waste in a dam located just 1.5 km from the Xingu River, a tributary of the Amazon.
But Belo Sun has come a long way since first took control of the asset in 2003, facing similar pressures along the way. In 2014, the firm hit a major roadblock after a Brazilian court suspended its environmental and provisional licences on similar concerns.
But last week, the Toronto-based company finally received the approval from the environmental authority of the Pará state, where the project is located, which was the final governmental approval required by Belo Sun to move forward.
The company is actually planning to spend an initial $5 million in exploration this year, aimed at demonstrating the possibility of new and expanded gold mineralization on 175,000-hectare (about 120km) property, where small-scale miners have been active since the 1960’s, it said in a statement Wednesday.
The $750 million Volta Grande, or Big Bend, consists of an open pit, a gold recovery process facility, water and tailings management and supporting infrastructure.
It is expected to produce more than 300,000 ounces annually over its 10-year life.
Shares in Belo Sun were down 2.68% to $1.09 in mid-afternoon trading in Toronto. But year-to-date, the stock has climbed more than 60%.
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