BRASILIA – President Michel Temer signed into law on Tuesday new standards for mining which, among other requirements, expand the environmental liability of companies exploiting mineral resources in Brazil.
“These are reforms affecting an activity that is very important for the country’s development, not just now but since the time of colonial Brazil,” Temer said during the ceremony at which the legislation establishing procedures to facilitate the financing of mining and research in the strategic industry was released.
The new regulations change the 1967 Mining Code, which had never been amended.
Mining and Energy Minister Wellington Moreira Franco said a major component of the new standards was the requirement that mining companies restore areas devastated by mining, including those around the mines.
In addition, a company ceasing operations at a mine will be required to close it, the minister said.
Last year, according to Mining and Energy Ministry data, mining accounted for 4 percent of the gross domestic product and exports totaled $46.5 billion, or 21 percent of the country’s total exports.