Apple bought gold from illegal mines in Brazil

It appears that Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have purchased gold illegally mined in Brazil for their products. The Brazilian local newspaper Reporter Brasil revealed on Monday that these four big tech companies used illegal gold from Brazilian indigenous lands located in the Amazon rainforest. This gold was mainly for smartphones and computers from Apple and Microsoft, as well as servers from Google and Amazon.

Documents seen by report authors confirm companies bought gold from refineries Chimet and Marcham between 2020 and 2021. The two refineries are subject to brazilian federal police investigation for illegal extraction of natural resources, in addition to several charges related to environmental damage.

Although the extraction of natural resources from indigenous lands is prohibited in Brazil, there are several illegal mining companies who extract and sell these resources to other companies around the world. Mining extraction leads to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and mercury contamination of rivers.Apple bought gold from illegal mines in BrazilApple bought gold from illegal mines in Brazil

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At the same time, the illegal extraction of natural resources also funds organized crime. At Brazil, the number of armed attacks against indigenous populations has increased dramatically in recent years as mining companies expand their activities.

Each company listed on the american stock market is required to declare its suppliers of natural resources. However, although Chimet and Marsam are under investigation in Brazil, these refiners are currently certified in United States and in Europe. Although tech companies claim they use clean materialsit seems that not everyone is really interested in the origin of these materials.

Repórter Brasil requested a comment from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Only Apple responded to the request with a statement saying the company no longer buys gold from Marsam, however, nothing was mentioned about Chimet. Apple also said it maintains high standards in establishing its partnerships and is constantly on the lookout for sustainable suppliers. In a document submitted to the American Commission securities and foreign exchange, Apple claims that it strives to protect the environment as well as the lives of those affected by its supply chain.

On its website, Apple has a section that highlights all the company’s actions to preserve the environment during the manufacture of its products. The US government has also declined to comment on the reportwhile the London Bullion Market Association said it was aware of the ongoing investigations in Brazil and that it was reviewing the certification of these mining companies.

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