||Mining in Serrinha (Serena) Serra da Moeda
|Tipo de proyecto
|Estudio de Impacto Ambiental
||No hay estudio
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We refer to the Serrinha project which is one of Ferrous most valuable assets. It is located on the Serra da Moeda (Moeda range), in the municipality of Brumadinho in the state of Minas Gerais, 30 kilometers away from Belo Horizonte, the state capital. The Moeda range is a place rich in biodiversity, water resources and features lush scenic beauty, besides having in its surroundings various urban, rural and gated communities as well as farms and ranches. It is thus a fairly populated area. Many of these communities rely for their water on the voluminous Mãe d’Água source which is located in the vicinity of the planned mine site.
In addition to the inevitable environmental damage that will result from the opening of this mine two of them are outstanding. First the 400m deep open pit will deplete the local aquifer and thus stop the water flow from the Mãe d’Água source. Second the blasts during the mining operation will upset the precarious stability of the range cliffs that surmount some communities. Local communities are comprehensibly worried with these impacts and are determined to obstruct both Serrinha’s mining concession and environment licensing.
Fortunately Ferrous Resources is not yet in this stage because it has yet to obtain the necessary mining permit. It has met with some difficulties in its application. On the exploration stage it failed to pay annual fees for the occupation of the licensed area which is a reason for revoking the exploration license. The resources stated in its final exploration report are based on an insufficient amount of information and do not resist an audit under international standards such as the Australian JORC Code or the Canadian NI 43-101 standard. In economic terms such a mine is already a very risky proposition indeed and in environmental ones it violates the principle of precaution exposed in the UN Conference on Environment and Development, Principle No.15. Furthermore it has lied to the federal bureau of mines (DNPM) by stating in its viability report that some of the costs of its mining operation would be met by its neighbor, Vale do Rio Doce Co., which declared exactly the opposite.
On the social front things are even worse. Ferrous initially denied having a mining plan so the interested parties could analyze it and evaluate all its environmental impacts. It was only after these parties petitioned a federal court that they were able to have access to it and take note of all its misstatements. Ferrous later made a public relations offensive through meetings with communities, welcoming only the ones it deemed pliant and restricting access to local leaders as well as dozens of people who sought to form a committee to monitor the Environmental Impact Study of the Mine. Some of these leaders made formal complaints to the local authorities for mistreatment.
In short, Ferrous’ Serrinha mining project is technically flawed and environmentally unsustainable.