The Committee on the Environment (CMA) on Wednesday (13) approved a bill containing rules to prevent illegal gold mining in the country. ABOUT PL 836/2021 regulates the sale of gold and creates rules for the production, sale and transport of this metal. The proposal now goes to a final vote in the Committee on Economic Affairs (CAE).

In addition to the ban on the sale of gold from First Nations, regardless of the stage of the reserve delimitation process, and from fully protected conservation units, the text changes the legislation related to the financial system regarding the sale of this metal. The aim is to ensure the traceability of the production chain and close the anti-money laundering gap on gold mined in illegal mines.

The text presented by Senator Fabiano Contarato (PT-ES) received a positive opinion from Senator Jorge Kajuru (PSB-GO) in a substitute form (alternative text).

According to the NGO Instituto Escolhas, between 2015 and 2020, 229 tons of gold were sold with serious signs of illegality, representing about half of the national production. According to Contarato, the current system, which lacks minimal controls on the origin and production of the metal, encourages a billion-dollar market for gold mined in prohibited areas, such as indigenous lands and protected areas in the Amazon.

“The result is an increase in deforestation of this biome and the contamination of soil and water resources used by indigenous peoples. The illegal mining process leads to the exposure of these populations to mercury, which has already been documented in an analysis conducted by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz),” he argues.

The rapporteur emphasizes that the current rules cannot prevent illegally produced gold from being sold as if it were of legal origin.

“In this aspect, traceability is increasingly used as a tool to guarantee the origin of products that may be associated with environmentally degrading practices,” he argues.

Anticipated rules

  • Gold will be considered a financial asset or instrument of exchange until its first sale, which will be available only to institutions of the National Financial System authorized to conduct business by the Central Bank of Brazil;
  • The first sale of gold can only be made by mining permit holder or legal representative created, expressly authorized and duly registered in the system electronic data from the National Mining Agency (ANM);
  • Institutions forming the National Financial System authorized to conduct business by the Central Bank of Brazil must register with National Mining Agency (ANM), all gold obtained with indication of origin;
  • Transport and storage of gold, regardless their nature should be monitored in any part of the national territory appropriate Transport Guide and Gold Trust;
  • Gold with tax documentation illegal, shall be subject to seizure and confiscation, without prejudice to Article civil and criminal liability.

Changes

In presenting the substitute, Kajuru emphasized that he maintained the essence of Contarato's proposal. Among the proposed improvements was the use of terms used by entities involved in mining processes, avoiding new expressions such as “mining ballast” and “ecological ballast”, present in the original wording of the draft.

The rapporteur also proposed introducing a mandatory requirement for issuance electronic invoice in gold operations, to ensure greater control over these transactions.

Agência Senado (reproduction authorized based on the quote from Agência Senado)

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