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Brazil Mining Watch: Mineral production, Bahia cooperation deal

Bnamericas Published: Friday, February 07, 2020
Brazil Mining Watch: Mineral production, Bahia cooperation deal

Brazil's mineral production increased 11% last year, according to the country's mining association Ibram

The figure differs from that published recently by statistics bureau IBGE, which showed the segment contracted 9.7% in 2019.

According to Ibram, the difference is because it excluded oil and gas and also measured production in dollar terms, as most mineral contracts are in US currency. 

“The result was driven by an increase in the average price of iron ore, a slight recovery in the construction aggregates sector, a significant increase in the volume of manganese production and foreign exchange rate variations that favored exports,” Ibram said. 

The average iron ore price in 2019 was US$93/t, up from US$69/t in 2018, the association. Iron ore is by far the main mineral produced and exported by Brazil.

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Given its privileged location and mineral riches, northeast Brazil's Bahia state offers growing opportunities for mining firms, according to Ibram.

“Bahia is already the fourth largest state in terms of mining production. About 180 municipalities have regular and legal mineral activity and generate employment, income distribution and collect taxes and charges,” said the association's head, Flávio Penido.

Ibram signed a technical cooperation agreement with Bahia state mineral research company CBPM to jointly boost the mining sector, which generates 187,000 jobs in the state.

“There are projects related to the mining segment, such as copper, vanadium, iron ore, zinc, nickel, phosphate, limestone and even uranium,” said Penido.

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