Swept Aside: An Investigation into Human Rights Abuse at Kinross Gold’s Morro do Ouro Mine

On the outskirts of Paracatu, a small city in the eastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, lies the country’s largest gold mine, known by locals as Morro do Ouro. The mine, which began production in the 1980s, has undergone a dramatic expansion since 2006 under the ownership of Canadian company Kinross Gold.

This report, a joint effort of Above Ground and Justiça Global, documents how the expansion of the Morro do Ouro mine negatively impacted the lives, land and livelihood of local people. It is based on a multi-year study in which our researchers interviewed local residents and public officials, spoke with representatives from Kinross and combed through government reports, news articles and court documents. Their research reveals serious human rights violations linked to the expansion of the mine over the past decade, a period during which Kinross received substantial and repeated financial support from the Canadian government.

The story of Morro do Ouro provides a compelling illustration of the governance gap that often surrounds the overseas operations of Canadian multinational companies. It follows a pattern widely seen throughout the world, in which host-state governments fail to protect people’s rights in the context of large-scale resource development projects. Canada, in turn, has no effective laws or policies in place to prevent or remedy harms caused by Canadian companies — including those it directly finances — in their operations abroad.

Access the full report.