Engineering & Mining Journal

SEP 2017

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2 E&MJ • SEPTEMBER 2017 FROM THE EDITOR As readers thumb through this edition of E&MJ, they will notice an expanded News section for Latin America. A lot happened in the region last month. The Spence expansion received approval from the Chilean government, but that was somewhat overshadowed by Brazilian President Michel Temer's decision to clarify mining policy. He issued three mining decrees during August, one of which opened parts of the Amazon, namely Amapá and Pará, to mining. (See Brazil Revises Its Policy on Renca, p. 16.) Reuters quoted Randolfe Rodrigues, a senator from Amapá, as saying, "If mining is allowed to go forward, it could cause the largest legally sanctioned destruction of the Amazon." The backlash from misinformed environmental activists was fi erce. With visions of mass deforestation by multinational mining companies, they, along with the media and pop culture icons, quickly jumped to conclusions and rallied against the decision. Even Tom Brady's wife, Gisele Bündchen, was tweeting about it. The Temer administration had to do something quick. They issued a clarifi cation, but they did not rescind the decision. Readers might recall that President Temer, a Brazilian lawyer/politician, took offi ce after Dilma Rousseff was impeached in August 2016. A year after taking offi ce he waded into Brazilian mining policy. This should have been handled by previous administrations, but it's complicated and they were distracted with other resource-related issues. How complicated? E&MJ turned to an old friend, Affonso A. Barros da Cunha, a mining lawyer in Brazil, to explain the situation. (See Recent Changes to the Mining Framework in Brazil, p. 18.) The senator's choice of words, especially "legally sanctioned," is interesting. The geology in northern Amapá and Pará is well-endowed with precious metals. We know this because of all of the placer mining that takes place at illegal artisanal mines, known as garimpos. The term comes from the Portuguese word "garimpeiro," which refers to a gold panner. Today, their crude sluice boxes are fouling the waterways of the Amazon with mercury. By opening the area to professional mining companies that would operate legally, Temer hopes to close the garimpos, clean up the mess and reclaim some of Brazil's gold. No good deed, however, goes unpunished. Had any of the "Save the Amazon from Mining" activists taken a few minutes to research the subject and determine what was actually happening, they could have helped improve environmental conditions in the Amazon. Instead, they read the headlines based on press releases from antimining nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), retweeted them and drew more attention to poorly researched reporting. Brazilian politics are always interesting. With the clarifi cation in place, Brazilian Presidential Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha said that any confusion caused by the pre- vious decree was now resolved. Padilha also pointed out that, under the decree, the government will be better able to detect and punish those who are acting outside the law, and it will also be able to allocate supplementary funding to oversee the closure of the illegal garimpos. The permission to prospect and carry out mining activities applies only to areas where there are no other restrictions, such as native vegetation protection decrees, protected areas, indigenous lands and border strips. The opening of these unpro- tected areas should attract new mining investments to Brazil, creating wealth for many people rather than a few garimpeiros. Mining in the Amazon Makes Headlines As readers thumb through this edition of notice an expanded News section for Latin America. A lot happened in the region last month. The Spence expansion received approval from the Chilean government, but that was somewhat overshadowed by Brazilian President Michel Temer's decision to clarify mining policy. He issued three Steve Fiscor Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Steve Fiscor, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief sfi scor@mining-media.com Mining Media International, Inc. 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306; Jacksonville, Florida 32224 USA Phone: +1.904.721.2925 / Fax: +1.904.721.2930 Editorial Publisher & Editor-In-Chief—Steve Fiscor, sfi scor@mining-media.com Associate Editor—Jennifer Jensen, jjensen@mining-media.com Technical Writer—Jesse Morton, jmorton@mining-media.com Contributing Editor—Russ Carter, rcarter@mining-media.com European Editor—Simon Walker, simon.emj@btinternet.com Latin American Editor—Oscar Martinez, omartinez@mining-media.com South African Editor—Gavin du Venage, gavinduvenage@gmail.com Graphic Designer—Tad Seabrook, tseabrook@mining-media.com Sales Midwest/Eastern U.S. & Canada, Sales—Victor Matteucci, vmatteucci@mining-media.com Western U.S., Canada & Australia, Sales—Frank Strazzulla, fstrazzulla@mining-media.com Scandinavia, UK & European Sales—Colm Barry, colm.barry@telia.com Germany, Austria & Switzerland Sales—Gerd Strasmann, info@strasmann-media.de Japan Sales—Masao Ishiguro, ma.ishiguro@w9.dion.ne.jp Production Manager—Dan Fitts, dfi tts@mining-media.com www.e-mj.com Engineering & Mining Journal, Volume 218, Issue 9, (ISSN 0095-8948) is published monthly by Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (mining-media.com). Periodicals Postage paid at Jacksonville, FL, and additional mailing offi ces. Canada Post Publica- tions Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Email: circulation@mining-media.com. Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calendar, are available on the World Wide Web at www.e-mj.com. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualifi ed sub- scribers. Non-qualifi ed persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year, $82, 2 year, $139. Outside the USA and Canada, 1 year, $134, 2 year, $249 surface mail. For subscriber services or to order single copies, write to E&MJ, 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA; call +1.904.721.2925 (USA) or visit www.mining-media.com. ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and Proquest. For mi- croform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734.761.4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at www.proquest.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to E&MJ, P.O. Box 828, Northbrook, IL 60065-0828 USA. REPRINTS: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930, www.mining-media.com PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clear- ance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. Obtain further information at copyright.com. EXECUTIVE OFFICE: Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Park- way, Suite 306, Jacksonville, FL 32224 USA phone: +1.904.721.2925, fax: +1.904.721.2930, www.mining-media.com COPYRIGHT 2017: Engineering & Mining Journal, incorporating World Mining Equipment, World Min- ing and Mining Equipment International. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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