April 12, 2017 / 7:27 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil court suspends license for Belo Sun gold project

(Adds details of court decision, mining project, hydropower dam)

By Marta Nogueira

RIO DE JANEIRO, April 12 (Reuters) - A Brazilian court suspended the license for Toronto-based Belo Sun Mining Corp to set up a gold mine just upstream from the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric dam on a tributary of the Amazon River, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Federal judge Jirair Meguerian ruled Belo Sun should not receive the license until it conducted a study of the mine’s impact on nearby indigenous communities, putting another brake on the company’s $5 million investment plan for 2017.

The mining project was already blocked by a state judge due to irregularities in the acquisition of land for the mine, the prosecutors said in a statement.

Belo Sun said the judge had made his interim ruling without hearing the company’s arguments and would reconsider after reviewing its previously conducted indigenous study.

Environmentalist group ISA has criticized Belo Sun for basing its licenses on studies conducted in 2009, before work had started on the 11,233-megawatt Belo Monte dam, whose impact on the Xingu River and two local tribes has drawn international controversy. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira, writing by Brad Haynes)

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