CSF’s Mining Calculator Makes an Impact on the Ground
In collaboration with the Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office of Brazil (MPF), CSF designed a Mining Impacts Calculator to estimate the socio-environmental costs of illegal gold mining in Brazil. With this tool, the MPF can now easily and efficiently calculate the estimated costs of illegal gold-mining activities and enforce stricter financial penalties for lawbreakers across Brazil. Already, this tool is helping the MPF to secure victories in the regulation of mining activities, and safeguard communities across Brazil from the environmental threats of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM).
Most recently, the MPF used the Mining Impacts Calculator to calculate the impacts of an illegal mining company that had been closed down. While the economic impacts of the company’s activities were initially estimated to be around $74 million Reais, MPF agents updated the damage values to $1 billion Reais after using CSF’s calculator. In another operation, the MPF had previously estimated mining damages for one company to be $13 million Reais. However, using the tool, the MPF adjusted this figure to $268 million Reais to include social damages related to deforestation, erosion, and mercury contamination. As a result, the MPF was able to obtain a legal siege of the company’s property in a public civil action suit.
In the past, Brazilian prosecutors lacked the methodology and technology to properly assess financial penalties for individuals and companies that committed infractions related to illegal mining, making enforcement difficult for MPF agents on the ground. With the help of the Mining Impacts Calculator, the MPF is now able to justify increased fines in legal cases and persuade judges to consider stricter penalties. “The mining impacts calculator is a fantastic tool that allows us to have greater precision in our work by utilizing several of the damage criteria and differentiating extraction models,” says Gustavo Kenner, a public prosecutor with the MPF. “Before the MPF had the calculator, we couldn’t differentiate damages by type of artisanal small-scale gold mining, which made it difficult to pursue claims. Now with this tool, we have already had some very successful cases, where we were able to pursue illegal mining operations and justify stricter financial penalties.”