Brazilian authorities have demolished several unregulated mines operating in the Amazon during a days long operation involving police and national guard members.
According to sources, the mines dismantled included open pit gold and cassiterite mines that had been operating illegally in Brazil’s Jamanxim and Rio Novo National Parks. Officials also seized several pieces of large mining equipment, including hydraulic excavators and motor pumps. It is estimated that illegal mining in these remote areas generates profits of up to $120,000 per month.
The Amazon Rainforest occupies 1.6 billion acres and faces continuing deforestation. Some statistical models estimate as much as 55 percent of the rainforest could be destroyed by 2030. Mining counts for around 1 to 2 percent of the damage.