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How we Engage
In Brazil, the Federal Constitution states, "Traditional Peoples and Communities are groups that have different cultures from the predominant culture of society and recognise themselves as such.
According to the Federal Decree No. 6,040 of February 7, 2000, "Traditional Peoples and Communities are culturally differentiated groups that recognise themselves as such, which have their own forms of social organisation, which occupy and use territories and natural resources as a condition for their cultural, social, religious, ancestral and economic reproduction, using knowledge, innovations, and practices generated and transmitted by tradition."
About 4.5 million people make up traditional communities in Brazil, occupying 25% of the country. They are represented, among others, by Indigenous, quilombolas, riparian/riverine, and extractivists.
Brazil’s Federal Constitution of 1988, in particular Articles 231 and 232, guide the recognition of Indigenous rights, especially respect for cultural diversity and Indigenous territories. Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations (UN) – to which the Brazilian State is a signatory – reinforce Indigenous rights such as:
- self-determination, maintenance, and strengthening of their cultures
- respect for the use and preservation of their lands, territories and resources
- prior consultation
- Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
In Brazil, Fundação Nacional dos Povos Indígenas (FUNAI) – the National Indian Foundation – is the official body that takes care of the rights of Indigenous peoples. It establishes land boundaries and supports Indigenous communities to move through Free, Prior and Informed Consent processes fairly.
To support Free, Prior and Informed Consent, monitoring procedures have been defined in the Interministerial Ordinance no. 060/2015 and Normative Instruction 02/2015 of the National Indian Foundation of 03/27/2015. These procedures relate to the Indigenous component of the environmental licensing processes.
Ordinance 060/2015 makes it mandatory for certain types of businesses (ports/harbors, mining and thermoelectrics) to engage with Indigenous groups during the environmental licensing process when the project is located within a radius of 10 km (in the Legal Amazon) or 8 km (in other regions) of Indigenous Territories.
The process to ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent is obtained begins with the Estudo do Componente Indígena (ECI) – Indigenous Component Study. This is part of the licensing stages and a fundamental instrument for guaranteeing the rights of Indigenous peoples are respected.
Our operations in Brazil – Pedra Branca mine and Antas Norte processing plant, and the Santa Lúcia and Centro Gold projects – are more than 10 km away from the Indigenous Lands.
The Pantera Project, North Ourilândia in southeastern Pará, is located within 3 km of the Xikrin of Cateté Indigenous Land. When starting the Project's environmental licensing process, the Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainability of Pará (Semas) activated the National Indian Foundation to begin prior consultation procedures. On 27 July 2022 a meeting was held with Xikrin Indigenous leaders, Xikrin lawyers, Indigenous associations, the National Indigenous Foundation, and OZ Minerals. During the meeting we were supported by a Xikrin language translator to share information on the potential project, including location, possible impacts, and the Indigenous Component Study proposal.
In May 2022, we established our Social Performance team in Brazil to continue improving how we support communities and other stakeholders close to our projects and operations.
We developed a set of priorities to guide our relationships and community activities in Brazil, including socio-environmental investment. We established a committee with diverse representation from across OZ Minerals, including social responsibility, sustainability, communication, legal and financial areas, to evaluate proposed investments. This includes assessing the risks (opportunities and threats) for OZ Minerals and stakeholders.
Investments above R$10,000 are required to provide an end-of-project report describing how it has contributed to the sustainable development of the community or organisation. Organisations may also be asked to provide photos and a case study for further OZ Minerals reporting. A third-party audit may be included as part of the case study development process.
During 2022, we carried out communication and training actions with employees to generate a better understanding of human rights and Indigenous Peoples in Brazil.
This included providing information from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, insights into the Xikrin people and our relationship with them, and summaries (in written and video formats) on the approval of the Pantera Project’s Indigenous Component Study – a fundamental instrument to guarantee the rights of Indigenous peoples.
In late 2022, we held four conversation circles with employees in Brazil, including with administration teams, the Pantera Project team, and the Pedra Branca and Exploration teams.