Mined Amazon is a tool that shows the mining processes in the Brazilian Amazon that could never have been registered.
The project systematically analyzes data by the Brazilian National Mining Agency (ANM, for its acronym in Portuguese), an authority of the federal government responsible for authorizing and supervising the activity. The bureau updates its registration of mining processes daily in an open format of geographic data. Mined Amazon, then, maps and alerts when these processes overlap (in whole or part) or are contiguous to the Legal Amazon’s indigenous lands and integral conservation units.
Brazilian law prohibits mining in these protected areas. In integral conservation units, federal law no. 9,985/2000 states that, in these territories, “only indirect use of its natural resources is admitted.” In indigenous lands, mining would only be allowed with legislation regulating the activity, with authorization from the National Congress and hearing of the affected communities, according to the Federal Constitution. The article has never been regulated, and therefore, no mining request in indigenous areas has ever been authorized to date.
Despite the prohibition, ANM keeps thousands of requirements on these areas valid in their system. Even when a requester gives up the process, or asks for its rejection, the agency keeps it in the system. ANM understands there is a chance of the “resource being provided,” as the autarchy explained to InfoAmazonia in a Request of Information. While the solicitation is in the system, it is considered valid. Mined Amazon follows this orientation at its platform.
InfoAmazonia’s tool brings transparency and visibility to these illegal requests. By accessing minada.infoamazonia.org, anyone can navigate the map, filter the data, and download queries. Besides the map, the Twitter profile @amazonia_minada updates whenever new mining requests are detected in prohibited areas.
Journalist Hyury Potter conceived and launched Mined Amazon in November 2019 with a grant from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) to monitor mining requests in integral conservation units.
In the following year, a support from the Rainforest Journalism Fund with the Pulitzer Center allowed us to expand the tool, including indigenous lands.
With the funding and data, Hyury and reporters Eduardo Goulart de Andrade, Naira Hofmeister and Pedro Papini produced several reports. Rodrigo Brabo and Fernando Eckstein did the web development. Juliana Mori built the maps.
In February 2022, with funding from Amazon Watch and development by Geodatin, InfoAmazonia launched the current interactive dashboard, allowing anyone to filter and download data. Stefano Wrobleski and Juliana Mori, both directors of InfoAmazonia, did development coordination and research coordination, respectively.