The 4 most valuable companies in the world were the final destination of gold from two refineries, the Italian Chimet and the Brazilian Marsam, whose production is contaminated by the metal extracted from clandestine mining.
An Italian company, dedicated to the refining of precious metals, is said to have acquired gold from illegal traders operating in the indigenous lands of the Brazilian Amazon. The entity, Chimet, is a supplier to four technology giants: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google (through its parent company, Alphabet).
Between 2020 and 2021, the four companies would have bought gold from Chimet for the manufacture of mobile phones, computers and servers. But the Italian company allegedly acquired the metal from a clandestine mining company that operates in the Kayapó indigenous territory, which constitutes a crime in Brazil.
In addition, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet have also purchased gold from the Brazilian company Marsam, which is under investigation by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office for causing environmental damage while mining illicit metals. .
Companies committed to the environment
Despite the silence of the three tech giants, the reports submitted to the US government reveal the best intentions of sustainability, transparency and social-environmental responsibility.
“We are committed to avoiding the use of minerals that have fueled the conflict, and we expect our suppliers to support our efforts to identify the origin of the gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum used in products that we manufacture or manufacture under contract.“Explains Amazon. in the document filed with the SEC.
Microsoft claims to have a “holistic approach to responsible sourcing of raw materials while working towards the use of non-conflict minerals in your devices“.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, explains in the annual report that it actively participates with RMI and that it analyzes and monitors supplier responses, in addition to completing the association’s reporting template. “We followed up to identify information that was incomplete or inconsistent with what we expected from the supplier“, indicates the document.
In Apple’s 25-page document, the company highlights alignment with human rights policies and says it’s “working to protect the environment and safeguard the well-being of millions of people.” affected by our supply chain, from mining to the facilities where the products are made.”
Illegal gold, a booming business
Illegal mining is the cause of deforestation in the Amazon, considered the “lung of the world”. In addition, this activity leads to mercury contamination of rivers, affecting indigenous communities.
This illegal activity has increased under the administration of President Jair Bolsonaro, who has even put in place policies to support artisanal mining, with the justification that it represents a “source of wealth and income for a population of hundreds of thousands“.