Illegal gold mining in Brazil – level 3

10-09-2021 15:00

The illegal gold mining business is booming in Brazil, with miners hopping on a law that President Jair Bolsonaro has sent to the government. The proposed law would open up indigenous land to commercial mining.

The Amazon is home to protected indigenous communities as well as diverse flora and fauna. However, the land beneath the unspoiled forest contains valuable minerals.

In recent decades, the lust for gold has attracted illegal prospectors who have destroyed forests, poisoned rivers, and brought fatal diseases to tribes. It is very difficult for nature to recover from such damage, even with human help.

Despite all the negative effects, the illegal gold mining business is booming in Brazil, with nearly 30% of the country´s gold in 2019 and 2020 likely coming from illegal mines. Nearly two thirds of Brazil´s gold went to Canada, Switzerland, and the UK.

Difficult words: booming (doing very well), flora and fauna (plants and animals), lust (a strong desire), prospector (a person or company whose job is searching for valuable things under the earth´s surface).

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