Brazil M&A: Mining sector heading towards dealmaking period

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Brazil M&A: Mining sector heading towards dealmaking period

The Brazilian mining sector is set to see a busy period of dealmaking after the presidential elections in October, according to the plans of several companies and investors.

Based on recent interviews with high-level executives, BNamericas takes a look at these plans.


Brazilian private equity firm Ore Investments is planning to acquire more assets using its own capital, while planning to set up a new fund. 

"We have already disbursed and committed 100mn reais (US$19.2mn), and we have another 200mn reais available to make new investments in the sector," CEO Mauro Barros told BNamericas.

"We have gold, copper, graphite, titanium, vanadium and lithium assets in our portfolio. We now want to increase [it] with more gold and copper, nickel, zinc and phosphate assets," he said, adding that the company may conclude an investment in a new asset this year and plans up to six acquisitions in 2023.

Barros also said the firm is looking to launch a second fund of up to US$150mn in 2024 and will seek to acquire companies in Peru, Chile, Argentina, along with a continued focus on Brazil.

Ore Investments was founded by former executives of Belo Sun, Vale and ArcelorMittal, among others. 


Canadian gold miner Aura Minerals seeks to scale up its Latin American operations, aiming to increase production capacity and attract large global investment funds, while eyeing acquisitions of regional assets, mainly in Brazil.

"Currently, we’re balanced in terms of operations between Brazil, Honduras and Mexico. Our growth strategy is to expand across the Americas, especially in countries where we already operate,” Rodrigo Barbosa, the CEO of Aura Minerals, told BNamericas. “I can tell you that we look at Brazil with great interest because the mining sector regulations make us very comfortable compared to other countries in the region."

This month the company is concluding the purchase of a controlling stake in Australia's Big River Gold, a deal which will see it assume control of the Borborema gold project in Brazil.

"We had projects in pre-operational stages on our radar. Now we’re going to look at projects in other stages, or projects that are in the early stages of production or in less advanced stages, with a production start in three years," said Barbosa. 


Canada's Largo Resources, which owns vanadium deposits in Brazil and is engaged in efforts to produce batteries for energy storage, is willing to talk to potential investors to support its investment plans.

"Initially we thought of making these investments with our own cash, but market changes altered our plans. We're now looking to bolster our cash with other options and this means we're open to talking to a strategic investor who's interested in partnering with us to advance our projects," CEO Paulo Misk told BNamericas.  

Last year Largo unveiled a plan to invest US$590mn in its operations over the next 10 years. Along with using these funds for vanadium production at its Maracás mine in Bahia state, the company plans to reuse all materials produced at the site to create an additional line of business.


In recent weeks, market speculation surfaced that Brazil’s largest miner, Vale, was preparing to separate its nickel and copper businesses and launch an IPO for its base metals division. 

Executives at the iron ore-focused company have confirmed the possibility of a share offering but without providing any details.

Speculation gained strength when earlier this month Vale said it would accelerate copper and nickel production in the face of strong demand related to the global energy transition. 

Vale now expects to produce 230,000-245,000t/y of nickel in the medium term, while the projection for this year is 190,000t.

The company sees global demand for nickel increasing 50% to 6.2Mt by 2030 due to “the rapid expansion of EV [electric vehicle] sales, which should be four times higher by the end of this decade," according to an investor presentation.

Vale's medium-term forecast for copper output is now 390,000-420,000t/y, compared with the projected 285,000t for this year.

The company expects copper demand to rise by around 20% through 2030, to 37Mt, due to the fast-growing EV industry and increased use of renewable energy.

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