Gold and copper are vital for electronics manufacturing. Since these metals are very valuable, they are mined by many illegal companies. It appears that even giants like Google do not hesitate to buy such gold.

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have reportedly been buying gold from illegal mines located on indigenous Brazilian lands in the Amazon rainforest. Gold was used for Apple and Microsoft smartphones and computers, as well as Google and Amazon servers.

The authors of the report on illegal mining have seen documents that confirm that companies bought gold from the Chimet and Marsam mines between 2020 and 2021. The Brazilian police investigated both plants for illegal extraction of natural resources and also accused them of environmental damage.

Apple, Google and other companies allegedly bought gold from illegal mines in Brazil

BEFORE (On the left side of the image). Satellite image date: June 9, 2017
AFTER (On the right side of the image). Satellite image date: August 22, 2022

Due to logging and negative side effects, the open area has increased by 66 hectares.

Analysis: NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) index on the EOSDA Crop Monitoring platform.
Source: EOS Data Analytics Inc

Extraction of natural resources on indigenous lands is prohibited in Brazil, but several illegal companies still go for it. Illegal mining helps fund organized crime in the country, which has led to an increase in attacks on indigenous peoples in recent years.

Both of the accused companies are certified in Europe and the United States. The US government has so far declined to comment on the situation, and the London Bullion Market said it was reviewing the certification of Chimet and Marsam.

Of the four technological giants, only Apple commented on the situation. The company said it adheres to high standards in establishing partnerships and cares about environmental protection.

“Apple works to protect the environment and to safeguard the well-being of the millions of people touched by our supply chain, from the mining level to the facilities where products are assembled,” the company said.