Illegal gold mining is becoming an ever more pressing issue in French Guyana. Operating deep in the jungle, illegal Brazilian gold miners turn huge tracts of tropical rainforest into wastelands through the use of deadly chemicals and powerful sluice. This threatens local indian tribes as well as a preserved environment. In order to support both gendarmerie and army units, the French armed forces will create two new rifle companies mainly dedicated to the task of tracking and destroying illegal settlements and mining equipment. Two new companies will be stood up this summer within both the 3 REI (a FFL unit) located in Kourou and the 9 RIMa (Marine Rgt) located in Cayenne, French Guyana, to specifically target the illegal gold diggers and all the associated illegal activities (human trafficking, prostitution, pollution etc.). They will be supported by 3 Casa CN 235 transport aircrafts, 2 Puma and one Fennec (AS 355) helicopters. An old Guardian article explaining the situation Illegal, polluting and dangerous: the gold rush in French Guiana | Environment | The Guardian To give an idea of the size of the problem, here is a list of the equipment seized in the 2010 "Harpie" anti-illegal gold mining operations carried out in the first half of 2010 in French Guyana : 263 longboats, 162 ATVs, 221 cubic metres of POL, 84 kg of mercury (used to separate gold but a deadly poison generally released into the jungle by the gold diggers), 10 kg of gold and 160 generators.