Brazil Potash, a unit of Potassio do Brasil, a Canadian mining company, is working closely with Brazil’s government and labor organizations to keep the $2.5 billion Potash project on schedule. Unfortunately for Potash, legal challenges have risen. The project is supposedly underway on the land of the Mura Indigenous people, and under the International Labor Organization convention, they have to be consulted on the upcoming construction. The project is expected to take about three years to complete and when finished, will consist of both mining and processing facilities. Set to be located in Autazes, about 75 miles southeast of the Amazon state capital Manaus. 

Potassio do Brasil states that the mining project is not deemed to be located on demarcated Indigenous territory, but federal prosecutors advise the project to be halted until there is full consideration done on behalf of these native lands. In 2017, prosecutors have asked a judge to stop project consultations with the Mura people until a final decision on the land has been secured. According to the written source, a proposed overlapping of the Soares/Urucurituba Indigenous reservation and mining sites had occurred. Another point of detail, according to public court filings and statements, said prosecutors stated that Protassio do Brasil used intimidation tactics on the Mura people – the company denied the accusations and stated they have complied with disassociation court orders. 

Now, Potassio do Brasil Chief Executive Adriano Espeschit stated that the consultation with the Mura people is underway and that the project is still on track to start production in 2026. While engaging in the necessary indigenous consultations, Potassio do Brasil has hopes of getting a license to start building installation sites. In 2015, they received three required licenses from the state environmental agency, IPAAM. In February, environmental agency IBAMA was given jurisdiction over the licensing process. They have stated that state authorities are going to be useful in the federal review process of submitted studies for the project.

Last year [2022] many prospects specifically searched out this project as a point of interest. The previous Brazilian government announced a plan to increase domestic fertilizer production and cut outport dependence, meaning the Potash project would have eventual support. Brazil’s biggest homegrown grain trader also had supposed talks with the Potassio do Brasil investor about a potential partnership. 

According to the Global Forest Watch, there has been significant forest loss between the years 2020 and 2021, about 13% of its primary coverage. But as seen in previous mining expeditions, such as Coldelco in Ecuador’s Intag Valley, there could be disastrous ecological effects. Environmentalists say that the project could open up the area for more deforestation projects and potential contamination of its river systems. Significant habitat loss for the Mura people will also occur, their communities rely on hunting, fishing, and farming to survive. There is a published article, by Mongabay, that heavily details the environmental impacts, political support, and other local factors that have aroused since this project commenced.