Greenpeace welcomes HCE’s decision to be part of the solution and support the protection of the Amazon rainforest and Indigenous Peoples’ rights. Other companies must follow suit.

Seoul, April 28 – HD Hyundai Construction Equipment (HCE) announced a series of measures to protect the Amazon and will act to prevent the use of excavators produced by the company from being used in illegal mining in the Amazon. The company’s decision came after Stop the Excavators, a new report released in partnership between Greenpeace Brazil and Greenpeace East Asia, revealed that the heavy machinery produced by HCE is being used for illegal mining in Indigenous Lands in the Amazon.

Danicley de Aguiar, senior Amazon forest campaigner for Greenpeace Brazil, said: “HCE’s announcement makes it clear that it is possible and feasible for the private sector to commit to protecting the environment and the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon. Hyundai Construction Equipment is not the only company with excavators being used in illegal gold mining. Now, it is urgent that other manufacturers of hydraulic excavators follow suit and also take the necessary measures to prevent their machinery from being used in the destruction of the forest and the livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples.”

Doto Takak Ire, Indigenous leader of the Kayapó People, said: “I’ve been fighting against gold mining and for the protection of the Amazon and Indigenous Lands practically my entire life. So, I see as positive the attitude that HCE is taking to support us in the protection of the Amazon, and I hope that they work together with the Brazilian government to define a long term solution to prevent gold mining from expanding in our lands. The fight against mining is long and this is a first step. Now, other companies also need to act, until there are no more excavators inside our territories.”

Daul Jang, Advocacy Specialist for Greenpeace East Asia Seoul office, said: “Greenpeace welcomes HCE’s decision to join the protection of the Amazon, which is in line with its words and actions emphasized in their ESG vision. We hope this announcement will be an inflection point, and can greatly help slowing down the pace of Amazon destruction caused by illegal gold mining. We expect HCE’s decision to affect other companies to follow suit. Heavy equipment manufacturers and sellers, along with the Brazilian government, should work together to establish a legal, institutional, and technical system to fundamentally solve this problem and ensure the protection of the Amazon.”

In the statement published on their website today, Hyundai recognized that the destruction of the Amazon and the violation of Indigenous Peoples’ way of life is a serious problem and pledged to make efforts to protect the Amazon. The company will stop selling its heavy machinery in the states of Amazonas, Roraima and Pará, where the Kayapó, Munduruku and Yanomami Indigenous Territories are located, as well as cease offering maintenance and supplying parts in the region until its efforts to strengthen its sales process and compliance system are effective in preventing its excavators from being used for illegal gold mining. In addition, HCE also announced it will terminate the contract with the BMG dealership, which has led the sales to illegal miners, and has committed to doing everything possible to carry out activities to protect the Amazon and Indigenous Peoples, including cooperating with the Brazilian government where necessary.

Excavators have been a key element in the expansion of illegal gold mining in Indigenous Territories in the Amazon, and the activity has been pressuring and impacting Indigenous Peoples’ way of life. The Greenpeace investigation showed that, of the companies identified, HCE’s heavy machinery is the one that has been most used by miners. 43% of the 176 excavators registered between 2021 and 2023 were produced by the South Korean company.

Greenpeace will continue its campaign to fight for the protection of the forest and to guarantee that excavators are no longer used in illegal gold mining in the Amazon, and that the activity is finally eradicated from Indigenous Lands.


Photos and videos are available in the Greenpeace media library.


Diego Gonzaga, Communications Specialist for Greenpeace International, [email protected], +1 415 527 9440

Greenpeace International Press Desk, [email protected], +31 20 718 2470 (24 hours)