Belo Sun ordered to suspend Volta Grande work

Canada-based Belo Sun has received a suspension order related to the construction of its Brazilian Volta Grande gold project which calls for the company to undertake further socio-environmental studies.

 Belo Sun's Volta Grande

Belo Sun's Volta Grande

"We are disappointed by this additional interruption to our construction plans. However, these hurdles are expected and we will work through them," Belo's president and CEO Peter Tagliamonte said.

The order—which the company intends to challenge—was issued by a judge from the Agrarian Court of Altamira and states Belo Sun's construction license and environmental license will be suspended until a study of the riverside peoples, at a minimum distance of 10 kilometres from the project, on both banks on the Xingu River is carried out.

"Belo Sun completed indigenous studies on the two closest indigenous lands, located 12 and 16 kilometres away from the Volta Grande project, which was accepted by FUNAI and is to be submitted to the Secretary of State for Environment and Sustainability, according to the Federal Court decision," the company said.

"We are working with our local Brazilian counsel to have the decision of the Court overturned on appeal. We are working diligently on the appropriate steps to reverse these decisions," Tagliamonte said.

Belo said it believes all local communities have been properly heard during the licensing process.

Late last year, the project was selected by Brazil's mines ministry for an Investment Partnership Programme which is a vehicle for supporting projects deemed as strategic within the country.

The project has attracted long-running opposition and legal challenges.

Belo's share price was quoted as C$0.35 (US$0.35) on May 25. The company has a market capitalization of C$159.27 million.

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