The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley.
So wrote Scottish poet Robert Burns in the late 1700s in his poem “To a Mouse.”
Although this quote may hold meaning to some of you, unless more of our readers are fluent in Scottish dialect than we anticipate, we suspect that a bit of translation may be called for at this point. In his poem, written after accidentally overturning a mouse nest with while plowing in a field, Burns meditates over the nature of making plans and concludes that even the best-laid plans of mice and men often go sadly awry.
It would seem that the same could be said of certain companies in the Brazilian mining industry.
Take the Toronto-based gold miner Belo Sun Mining Corporation as one example. Citing environmental concerns, the Brazilian courts recently put the breaks on the company’s plans to build what would be Brazil’s largest gold mine along a tributary of the Amazon River.
“The judge said that the mine stood to cause ‘negative and irreversible damage to the quality of life and cultural heritage’ of the Juruna and Arara peoples… [But] Mark Eaton, Belo Sun’s CEO, said the indigenous impact study is already under way… and will ‘probably appeal’ the federal court suspension” (The Council of Canadians)
While we respect environmental protection and the need to preserve the way of life for people indigenous to the Amazon basin, we cannot help but feel for the movers and shakers behind this exciting new gold mining venture, the ones who now find their best-laid plans going awry.
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