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Brazil exports illegal gold

Study by Instituto Escolhas shows that more than 19 tons of gold exported by Brazil lack any registration of origin or permits

 

In 2020, Brazil exported 111 tons of gold, at a value of US$4.9 billion. However, 17% (or 19,123 tons) of those exports were illegal, since the production of this gold was not registered or was carried out without a mining permit.

According to the analysis, despite exports having reached the level of 111 tons, in 2020 Brazil produced only 92 tons of gold, and 485 kg from Pará and Mato Grosso lacked mining permits. Another 18.6 tons were not even accounted for in the production records. Thus, over 19 tons of Brazilian gold were illegally exported.

The study concludes that exports were carried out through states like Minas Gerais and São Paulo. This is because these states either did not produce a single gram of gold — like São Paulo — or exported much more than they produced — like Minas Gerais, suggesting they exported gold without registration or mining permits, or gold that was extracted in other states, such as those in the Amazon region.

In 2020, Brazil exported 111 tons of gold, at a value of US$4.9 billion. However, 17% (or 19,123 tons) of those exports were illegal, since the gold production was never registered or was carried out without mining permits.

According to the analysis, although exports reached the level of 111 tons, in 2020 Brazil produced only 92 tons of gold.  Of this total, 485 kg from Pará and Mato Grosso lacked mining permits. Another 18.6 tons were not even accounted for in the production records. Thus, more than 19 tons of Brazilian gold were illegally exported.

Countries that import gold from these locations, such as Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and India, have their imports contaminated and exposed to the risk of illegality.

According to Institutos Escolhas Project and Product Manager Larissa Rodrigues, “we export illegal gold in large quantities, so there is an urgent need for a gold  traceability system, otherwise it won’t be possible to prove whether it was produced legally or if it came of Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units in the Amazon.”

According to her, “importing countries need to demand that Brazil implement this tracking system, since that is the only way they will no longer be accomplices in the destruction of the Amazon forest.” She added that gold is the main Brazilian item on the Swiss import list, for example, and that is why the demands must be made: because exposure to illegality remains high.

Click here and learn more about the data in the study.