Mining territories: territorial planning after the disruption in Mariana, Minas Gerais

Abstract The power of mining in Brazil, particularly in the state of Minas Gerais, interferes in territorial planning and in the civil rights of the affected population, which inhabit areas of interest to the mining companies. This study proposes a reflection on the correlation of forces that resulted in the disruption of a mining dam in the municipality of Mariana (Minas Gerais), in 2015, and on the territorial conflicts surrounding the deterritorialization of two sub-districts. The methodology includes literature review and analysis of post-disaster speeches delivered by local actors. The debate about the exploratory model of mining implies a reflection on popular participation in territorial planning. It is necessary to make a critical reading of the containment of the affected actors’ autonomy and to recognize the conflict as an engine in the construction of citizenship and social/environmental justice in the cities.