November 13, 2019

The Brazilian Brumadinho Mining Disaster: Environmental Regulation on Debate

Leonardo Munhoz

Mining shares a close relationship with Brazil’s economy. This relationship has existed at least since colonial times, when in the seventeenth century the Portuguese discovered gold in the state of Minas Gerais and quickly set up infrastructure to recover the resource. Indeed, mining even justifies the state’s name to this day––Minas Gerais translated to English means “general mines.” Today, mining in Brazil involves much more than gold, silver, and precious stones. It is equivalent to 5 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product, creating 180,000 direct jobs and resulting in the extraction of a vast range of minerals. Vale, Sobre a Vale (2017), www.vale.com/brasil/pt/aboutvale/news/paginas/qual-a-importancia-da-mineracao-para-a-economia-do-pais.aspx.

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