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Brazil Central Bank Recruited to Save Amazon From Illegal Mining

  • Mining institute and federal police work on gold traceability
  • Half gold exported in the 2015-2020 period had dubious origin
An illegal gold mine in Sao Felix do Xingu, Para state, Brazil.

An illegal gold mine in Sao Felix do Xingu, Para state, Brazil.

Photographer: Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

Updated on

The threat to the Brazilian Amazon posed by illegal mining is so big that the formal mining industry is trying to get the country’s central bank involved.

With large companies and non-governmental organizations pushing for a crackdown on unregulated gold flows, central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto pledged to look into ways to improve supervision of bank-authorized buyers, mining institute Ibram said in a statement after meeting with Campos Neto. Ibram and the federal police are also developing a traceability system using radioisotopes to establish a DNA for Brazilian gold.