The Supreme Court of Pará State in Brazil has reversed a preliminary suspension order pertaining to the environmental and construction licences of Belo Sun Mining’s Volta Grande gold project.
Earlier this year, the Agrarian Court of Altamira issued an order to suspend the Canadian company’s licences for the Volta Grande project until the completion of a socio-environmental study.
Belo Sun was ordered to complete a socio-environmental study for the local riverside peoples, at least 10km from the project, on both banks of the Xingu River.
The court also ordered the company to carry out prior, free and informed consultations, as well as secure riverside communities’ consent.
However, the suspension has now been overturned by the supreme court due to a lack of evidence of damage to the riverside people.
The court also noted that the riverside people were properly consulted as part of the company’s environmental studies.
Belo Sun said in a statement: “The State Supreme Court also ruled that the decision of the Agrarian Court causes damage to the company and stated that there should be no obstacles for Belo Sun to continue with the environmental licensing process while complying with the legal requirements determined by the applicable environmental and judicial authorities.”
Belo Sun president and CEO Peter Tagliamonte said: “We are pleased with the ruling by the Supreme Court of Pará State and this decision confirms our belief that Belo Sun properly consulted with all local communities, including the communities living along the Xingu River. Management continues to work diligently to advance the Volta Grande Gold Project.”
Located near Altamira in Pará, Brazil, the Volta Grande open pit mining project held proven and probable reserves of 115.9 million tonnes grading 1.02g of gold per tonne for 3.7Moz of gold, as of March 2015.