RIO DE JANEIRO – Last week Brazilian president Michel Temer opened up 46,000-km2 area in the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca) to exploration and mining. The protected status of an area straddling the northern states of Amapa and Para was withdrawn by presidential decree.
Brazil is opening up a portion of the Renca reserve to exploration and mining.
The change was made as part of a larger plan to encourage economic growth in the country.
As expected, the move had been decried by environmentalists. In anticipation of these objections, the government noted that only about 30% of the reserve is affected by the decree. Furthermore, all the protections for native vegetation and indigenous land in the area remain in force throughout all of the Renca area.
Besides lifting the protected status of the Renca land, the president signed two other decrees last week that are positive for the mineral industry. The second hikes mineral royalties by as much as 80%, and the third increases the term of an exploration licence to four years from three, and makes it renewable for a further four.