Brazil: Moratorium on Gold Now!!! No indigenous blood in the Belém gold refinery!

By Ecosocialist Struggle Collective


– That the North Star company was granted its Operating License without any debate with the population of Belém, the inhabitants of Tapanã, the scientific community, indigenous peoples, environmental activists, not even with the PSOL state ecosocialist sectorial.

– That a publication of The Intercept Brasil states that “in 2020, the Belgian justice convicted Alain and Sylvain Goetz (…) for money laundering and fraud in the creation of a clandestine gold market. Sylvain is an investor in the new Pará refinery, as documents from the Pará Chamber of Commerce obtained by the Intercept show.”

– That, according to the same report, Sylvain Goetz owns 24.78% of North Star shares, and of two other companies based in tax havens, he owns 69.63% (North Coast, based in the Bahamas) and 14.06% (Dubai-based Maison Prime); and at a third company, Omex, of which he only owns 0.54% but had the “power” to appoint the current chairman of North Star (in partnership with the former mayor of Itaituba, Roselito Silva).

– That the representative of North Coast, a Surinamese businessman, is a former representative of a Goetz family company, and in that capacity, in 2018, participated in a meeting with then governor of the state of Pará, Simão Jatene, to discuss the construction of a gold refinery in the state; that the representative of Maison Prime is a former employee of a Goetz family refinery in the Congo (AGR), accused of links with armed groups; that Roselito Silva was denounced by the TRE / PA, and had companies, of which he is a partner, accused of fraud in documents for the purchase of illegal gold, and of keeping workers in a situation similar to slavery; that these strange relations could indicate that the three companies could be only fronts of the Goetz family company.

– That “the gold supply protocol for the refinery was signed with the companies Serabi Mineração S/A, Brazauro Recursos Minerais S/A (which later sold its operation to the Canadian G Mining Ventures), BRI Mineração LTDA., Gana Gold Mineração S /A and Belo Sun Mineração LTDA”; that this protocol was signed by the government of Helder Barbalho, and that at least two companies, Gana Gold and Belo Sun, are involved in investigations by the Federal Police and in judicial and extrajudicial actions.

– That to extract 700g of gold from the subsoil it is necessary to remove some 2,000 tons of earth and rock; that the same 700g of gold can be extracted from an average of 1 ton of electronic waste; and that Brazil produces about 1.5 million tons of “electronic waste.”

– That the Central Bank of Brazil has stored 121 tons of gold in the form of gold bars (in the world there are about 36 thousand tons of gold stored in countries’ central banks). That only 12% of the gold extracted in the world is used in the electronics industry (78% is used in jewelry and high luxury objects).

– And that the total fragility (or inexistence) of oversight makes it impossible to say that the gold illegally extracted from Indigenous Lands by criminal organizations operating in the region will not be refined in Belém, causing irreversible socio-environmental damage, murders of indigenous leaders and activists and negatively affect the health of the Amazonian population.

The Ecosocialist Struggle Collective presents the following proposals to the 50225 Collective Candidacy and the mandate of 5000 federal deputy Vivi Reis regarding the gold refinery under construction in the Tapanã neighborhood, in Belém:

– Request the immediate revocation of the LO – North Star Operating License;

– Develop projects to readjust the structure and facilities of the refinery building, so that it is used exclusively for gold extraction via urban mining;

– Develop collection and recycling projects for so-called “electronic waste,” favoring association with cooperatives and collectors of recyclable materials, for the supply of “raw material;”

– Develop workforce training projects, with special attention paid to the population around the refinery, aiming at the generation of jobs;

– Nationalization/municipalization of the building under construction and payment of compensation to the former owner of the land on which the refinery is built;

– The municipality must take charge of the control/management of the refinery, preparing projects and making specific public tenders possible, with the aim of generating jobs.

The candidates/mandates undertake to coordinate actions, including at the institutional level (with Universities, City Hall and other public bodies), in order to detail, improve and implement the initial proposals presented here.

Proposal Summary:

– revocation of the operating license;

– suitability for gold extraction through urban mining;

– association with cooperatives of collectors (e-waste);

– manpower training;

– nationalization of the refinery;

– The municipality must take control and carry out a public tender.

Bethlehem, September 24, 2022