How did investigative journalists reveal that European gold consumers are profiting from illegal mining in the Amazon? 

If your jewellery contains gold, there’s a chance the precious metal was illegally mined in the Amazon, with devastating consequences for the rainforest and indigenous communities living there.

It may then have been “laundered” in the Middle East before being refined in Italy or Belgium – and all in contravention of regulations designed to prevent so-called conflict minerals from entering supply chains.

Such is the “gold chain” that connects the unlawful artisanal mines of the Brazilian Amazon with the luxury markets of Europe, according to a groundbreaking investigation supported by IPI’s Investigative Journalism for Europe (IJ4EU) fund.

It also fuels the electronics sector and investment markets, both hungry for gold.In this episode of IJ4EU Confidential, a video-podcast recorded with a live audience, freelance investigative journalists Ludovica Jona Lasinio (Italy) and Quentin Noirfalisse (Belgium) give the backstory to The Gold Chain.

Watch the video

Listen to the podcast

Listen on:



  • Timothy Large, director of independent media programmes at the International Press Institute (IPI)
  • Milica Miletić, project and events coordinator at IPI


  • Ludovica Jona Lasinio, freelance investigative journalist
  • Quentin Noirfalisse, freelance investigative journalist

Editing and production: Timothy Large

web: KontraBit