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Alcoa mine to clear 25,000 acres of rainforest, suck 133,407 gallons of water per hour from the Amazon
July 31, 2009

A bauxite mine under development by Alcoa, the world’s second-largest primary aluminum producer, will consume 10,500 hectares (25,900 acres) of primary Amazon rainforest and suck 133,407 gallons of water per hour from the Amazon, reports Bloomberg News in an extensive write-up.

Located in the Juruti region of the Amazonian state of Para, the project will produce millions of tons of bauxite ore — used in the production of aluminum — per year, but more than half the mine will lie within a sustainable use forest reserve set aside for locals, according to Bloomberg. Further, state and federal officials are questioning the legality of the mine. Alcoa maintains the mine has the proper permits.

Michael Smith and Adriana Brasileiro write:

Bauxite mining road in Suriname.
A growing array of evidence in court documents puts Alcoa among the multinational corporations that prosecutors accuse of destroying or causing destruction of the world’s largest rain forest.

Brazilian federal and Para state prosecutors sued Alcoa’s Brazilian mining subsidiary in 2005 in an effort to block the Juruti mine, saying the company had circumvented the law by not applying for a federal permit and instead seeking a license from the state of Para.

After four years of legal haggling, the suit is still pending. Alcoa, which denies any wrongdoing, has already completed construction of the railway, port and processing plants. It’s now ready to start mining.

“The state agency has no power to give anyone full rights to exploit land, especially in the case of a reserve,” state prosecutor Raimundo Moraes says. “Alcoa invaded the area, undeterred. Alcoa has no shame.” For the full story: Alcoa Razes Rain Forest in Court Case Led by Brazil Prosecutors

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