Migratory routes of miners and photographic images of artisanal and small-scale mining work in the mining community of Água Branca, Tapajós region, Amazon

Published: 12 July 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/n8934ty27j.1
Carlos Matos Bandeira Junior


Data were obtained in August 2021, Amazon summer, during an ethnographic research field stage in the Água Branca mining community, belonging to the municipality of Itaituba, Pará, located in the Tapajós region. Individual in-depth interviews were carried out, recorded in audio and audiovisual format, with prospectors and residents of the locality. The photographs were captured in the gold extraction areas and present the work processes of artisanal and small-scale gold mining - ASGM developed in different production techniques and structures. The data has the potential to be used by other researchers in comparative studies on ASGM in other countries. Data were obtained qualitatively, in an ethnographic field stage lasting 12 days. Nineteen in-depth interviews were recorded with a zoom and h1 recorder and a Canon DSLR camera, with a semi-structured script, individually with miners, residents, and workers from other sectors residing in the mining community of Água Branca. Subsequently, the interviews were manually transcribed in Microsoft Word software. Information on Gender, Age, Type of work in mining, state, city of birth, beginning of work in the mining, and migratory route were filtered. The photographs were taken during participant observation in the gold extraction area locally called “baixão”. Attention was paid to the different exploration structures practiced in artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the Tapajós region, as well as to the techniques and processes of miner work. The images record open pit mining using a backhoe, underground mining, and ravine mining in the modality locally identified as “tatuzão”.



Universidade Federal do Oeste do Para


Social Sciences, Human Environmental Science