Brazilian federal prosecutors asked a judge to annul a contract between Canadian miner Belo Sun and Brazil’s land rights agency to build a gold mine valued at 1.2 billion reais ($242 million), according to a legal document seen by Reuters.
The controversial mining project is located in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, near the Xingu river in northern Para state.
The request of prosecutors to end the project is part of a lawsuit over land rights originally filed by public defenders in 2022.
The document, dated Jan. 30, indicated that prosecutors back the right of families living in settlements near where the mine would be built to be consulted on the project before any decision allowing it to proceed.
Belo Sun did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company has previously valued the project at 1.2 billion reais, but its future has been clouded due to controversy over potentially harmful environmental impact.
The prosecutors request is the latest obstacle faced by Belo Sun’s would-be mining project.
A separate judge previously ruled that in order for the project to advance, its environmental licenses must first be approved by federal environmental protection agency Ibama, not state officials.
Ibama has yet to issue a decision on the licenses.
($1 = 4.9590 reais)
(By Ricardo Brito and Andre Romani; Editing by Lincoln Feast)