Guaíba Mine

From Global Energy Monitor


This article is part of the Global Coal Mine Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Guaíba Mine or Mina Guaíba is a proposed coal, sand and gravel mining project in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.[1] If approved, it would be the largest open-pit coal mine in Brazil.[2]


The map below shows the approximate location of Guaíba Mine, near Delta do Jacuí State Park in an area between the municipalities of Eldorado do Sul and Charqueadas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The mine site is 20 kilometers west of downtown Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul's largest city.[2]

Directions to the mine appear as follows on the Projeto Mina Guaíba website:[3]

"Travel 30 km from Porto Alegre/RS or 53.5 km from Butiá/RS to reach kilometer 122 on highway BR-290, near the Eldorado do Sul aviation club. Here, an access road will be created, connecting to the existing rural road that leads to the future Guaíba Mine. The project anticipates doubling the road's current width to 15 m along its full 4km length to the mine gate."
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Guaíba Mine is owned by Copelmi Mineração LTDA.[1][2] Copelmi is Brazil’s largest private coal mining company, controlling more than 80% of the industrial coal market.[4] Estimates of the mine's lifetime coal production potential range from 4.7 million tonnes per annum (142 tonnes over 30 years)[2] to 6.15 tonnes per annum (166 tonnes over 27 years)[5], with peak annual capacity estimated at nearly 8 million tonnes.[6]

According to the Projeto Mina Guaíba website, as of November 2019 the project was still awaiting licensing from the Brazilian government.[3] In February 2020 a Brazilian federal judge suspended the environmental licensing process, citing Copelmi's failure to consider the mine's impact on the nearby indigenous community of Aldeia TeKoá Guajayvi.[7][8] As of September 2020, permitting for the project remained on hold due to ongoing legal challenges.[9]

Environmental & Health Concerns

There has been strong opposition to the Guaíba mine from indigenous and environmental organizations on the grounds that it would contaminate local air, land and water, threaten Latin America's largest organic rice production zone, and negatively impact the 4.5 million residents of the greater Porto Alegre metropolitan area.[5] Professor Rualdo Menegat of the Institute of Geosciences of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul expressed concern at a public hearing that the mine's location makes it possible for it to contaminate the Jacuí river, and that particulate matter from the site will decrease air quality.[2] In January 2021 the Medical Association of Rio Grande do Sul warned of potential serious health consequences from the mine, including heart attacks, an increase in illness among children under five, and decreased quality of life.[10]

Project Details

  • Owner: Copelmi Mineração[1][2]
  • Parent company:
  • Location: Near Eldorado do Sul and Charqueadas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
  • GPS coordinates: -30.015319, -51.532337 (approximate)
  • Mine status: Proposed
  • Start year: 2023 (expected)[11]
  • Mineable reserves: 166 millon tonnes[1][11]
  • Coal type:
  • Mine size:
  • Mine type: Surface (open-pit)[2]
  • Production: 4.7 million tonnes per annum[2]
  • Additional proposed production:
  • Equipment:
  • Number of employees: 331 direct and 83 indirect jobs during the implementation phase and then 1,154 direct and 3,361 indirect jobs once in operation.[12]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 EJA Coal Mining project (Mina Guaíba) in Río Grande del Sul, Brazil Environmental Justice Atlas, accessed Nov 11, 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Vitor Laitano Audiência em Porto Alegre confronta posições sobre implantação de Mina Guaíba jornal do comércio Aug 20, 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Projeto Mina Guaíba". Copelmi. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
  4. Copelmi Market Share Organizational site, accessed Nov 11, 2019
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Coal from Guaíba, Latin America's largest open-pit mine, will stay in the ground". February 25, 2020.
  6. "Copelmi investirá R$ 300 milhões em mina de carvão". Jornal do Comércio. August 15, 2014.
  7. "Licenciamento ambiental da obra da Mina Guaíba é suspenso por liminar da Justiça Federal". G1 - O Globo. February 21, 2020.
  8. "Área indígena faz suspender licenciamento para Mina Guaíba". Jornal do Comércio. February 21, 2020.
  9. "Os motivos pelos quais o licenciamento da Mina Guaíba está suspenso por tempo indeterminado". GZH. September 2, 2020.
  10. "AMRIGS alerta que projeto da Mina Guaíba pode trazer 'sérios riscos à saúde' da população - Sul 21". Sul 21. January 20, 2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Jefferson Klein Projeto carboquímico incluirá areia e cascalhojornal do comércio March 28, 2019
  12. Isabella Sander Mina Guaíba gera debate sobre impacto ambiental jornal do comércio Sept 7, 2019

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External resources

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