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Spotlight: The largest mining companies in Brazil

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Spotlight: The largest mining companies in Brazil

The Brazilian mining sector is highly concentrated despite the operations of thousands of firms in the country. 

Local mining giant Vale was responsible for nearly half of the sector in Q2, based on tax figures from the country’s mining institute (Ibram). 

The industry is also strongly concentrated in iron ore, which made up close to 74% of its activity, according to the same figures. 

After iron ore came gold (7.4%), copper (5.5%), aluminum (3.5%) and limestone (1.9%). 

The government and the industry are working to expand areas where mining exploration is performed, while also looking at new financial mechanisms to support the growth of the sector’s SMEs. 

"The mining sector needs to receive some support and the government is working on that," said Alexandre Vidigal de Oliveira, secretary of the mines and energy ministry, during a recent webcast.

Government actions include expanding geological knowhow, credit lines for mining firms, allowing mining activity in border areas and indigenous reserves, granting new areas for exploration, combating illegal practices and promoting sustainable mining, said Oliveira.

In Brazil, there were 6,466 companies registered in the mining sector in Q2 and the market share of the five largest was nearly 70%. 

Since foreign firms do not always provide revenue figures for their Brazilian operations, Ibram uses paid taxes to measure the size of companies.

We take a look at the five largest miners in the second quarter, based on taxes.

No. 1 - Vale 

Vale is one of the biggest producers of iron ore and nickel in the world, and it also produces manganese and copper, among others. 

In the second quarter, its taxes were 47.4% of the total paid by mining firms in Brazil. 

No. 2 - Anglo American 

Anglo American is one of the largest mining companies in the world and its Brazil operations are focused on iron ore and nickel. The company’s Q2 taxes represented 9% of the total. 

No. 3 - CSN Mineração

CSN Mineração is the country’s second biggest iron ore exporter and it is the mining arm of Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional (CSN). The company paid 3.26% of the sector’s taxes in the second quarter. 

No. 4 - Kinross Brasil

The taxes paid by the Brazilian unit of Canadian gold mining company Kinross Gold Corp amounted to 1.66% of the total.

No. 5 - Mineração Usiminas

The Q2 tax participation of Mineração Usiminas, the mining division of Brazilian steelmaker Usiminas, was 1.48%.

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