The drivers of illegal mining on Indigenous Lands in the Brazilian Amazon

Carlos Fabricio Assunção da Silva, Mauricio Oliveira de Andrade , Alex Mota dos Santos, Viviane Adriano Falcao, Suelem Farias Soares Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study provides a fresh perspective on the main drivers of illegal mining in the Amazon Biome, with special emphasis on developments on Indigenous Lands (ILs). It focuses specifically on how clandestine transportation infrastructure catalyzed illegal mining in these areas in Brazil over the period 2008 - 2021. The methodology adopted comprised a spatial analysis using Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) and a binary logistic regression. Results from the Kernel density analysis reveal an upward trend in illegal mining over the past five years, particularly on the lands of Kayapó, Munduruku, and Yanomami. The regression results identified areas with mining requests, unofficial roads on the ILs, and clandestine airstrips in the buffer as primary drivers of illicit activity in ILs. These findings underscore the challenges posed by clandestine transportation infrastructure in the Amazon for Brazilian authorities and indigenous communities struggling to preserve forests and protect territories.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101354
Number of pages10
JournalThe Extractive Industries and Society
Early online date26 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Brazilian Amazon
  • Clandestine transport infrastructures
  • Illegal mining activities
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economic Geology
  • Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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