Brazil
Press Release

Electric vehicles to boost demand for ores

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, November 17, 2022

By Companhia Bahia de Pesquisa Mineral

This is a machine translation of the press release originally published in Portuguese 

The recent announcement of the installation of three factories in Bahia, by the largest electric car manufacturer in the world, BYD Auto, is having repercussions in several segments of the state, including mining. The company, which aims to accelerate the green transition of the global transport sector, focuses on the development of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. As a result, since BYD will prioritize the contracting of companies established in Bahia, including for the acquisition of inputs, it is expected that there will be an increase in demand for various types of ores in the state, as is the case, for example, of nickel, iron, copper and lithium, the latter not yet produced in Bahia, but with potential in the Itambé region.

The units that will be installed in the state will produce chassis for electric buses and trucks and electric and hybrid passenger vehicles and process lithium and iron phosphate, for the production of batteries, according to the protocol of intentions signed at the end of October between BYD do Brasil , a subsidiary of the Chinese company in the country, and the State of Bahia. The largest electric car manufacturer in the world is expected to invest R$ 3 billion to install the three factories in Bahia, generating 1,200 direct jobs during the implementation period alone.

For the president of Companhia Bahia de Pesquisa Mineral (CBPM) , Antonio Carlos Tramm, this protocol of intentions is very important for mining in Bahia, as it should encourage and accelerate the work of mineral research. “Bahia is already one of the best geologically studied states in Brazil. Over the last 50 years CBPM has been working to constantly improve the geological information we have on our state and in recent years we have been investing in the use of the most modern mineral research, as is the case of the last aerogeophysical survey carried out in the first half of this year, in the north of the state, and the Letters of Anomalies, from the East-West Integration Railroad (FIOL) area, which was a work developed together with the Geological Survey of Brazil (SGB), our partner in several projects, and which will be released next Thursday (17)”, announced Tramm.

Investment in Research

Investment in mineral research in Bahia is already a reality in the state, which is the third largest producer of ores in the country and produces 47 types of mineral substances. Data from the National Mining Agency (ANM) show that in the last five years (2017 to 2021) Bahia was the state that most invested in mineral research. In total, there were more than R$ 1.5 billion reais (including public and private investments), which has been reflected in the growing results obtained by the sector in recent years.

The research work carried out by the state and the importance of Bahia in the production of essential ores for the transition of the energy matrix were highlighted by the president of IBRAM (Brazilian Mining Institute), Raul Jungmann, during the II Innovation and Sustainability Forum in Mining, held this year in Salvador. “The future of decarbonization passes through Bahia. We need to expand, recognize the role, the importance of mineral research and, in this sense, I want to congratulate Bahia and, particularly, CBPM. Bahia today is the national champion in mineral research. One in three reais invested in research is here in Bahia”, emphasized Jungmann.

Among the minerals that are essential for the transition of the energy matrix and consequently the production of electric cars and their batteries, Bahia comes out ahead as the main producer of nickel in the country, and the only producer of sulphide nickel, used for the production of batteries; the country's only producer of vanadium, also used in the production of batteries, in addition to being the third largest producer of copper in the country, a raw material that is essential in the production of electric cars.

According to the Principal Consultant of CRU (a company specializing in business intelligence for mining, metals and fertilizer companies), Francisco Acuñ, copper has a great impact on the production of electric cars. “Hybrid car engines have around 20 kilos of copper in their structure. In the 100% electric ones, the amount of material used can correspond to 80 kilos. Copper is an important raw material for the manufacture of electric car engines and I believe that, in the future, Brazil will also have to follow this trend in the global automobile industry”, said Acuña, during a panel on strategic minerals held during the last Exposibram.

Copper production is already one of the highlights in the state, and should see great progress in the coming years. Last Monday (07), Ero Copper announced a 31% increase in mineral reserves in Caraíba. With this, a constant growth in copper production is expected from 45.3 thousand tons in 2023 to 59.4 thousand tons of copper by 2036 and current mine life of 20 years.

FIOL Anomaly Cards

To further expand the geological knowledge of the state, CBPM in partnership with the Geological Survey of Brazil (SGB) will launch next Thursday (17th), from 9:30 am, in the CBPM auditorium (located in the CAB), at FIOL Anomaly Charts, produced with the integration of geological, geophysical and geochemical data.

In all, there are 15 Letters, which aim to encourage mineral research in the country, enabling the preliminary assessment of the sectors most likely to prospect for the mineral substance of interest, and encouraging new investments by the private sector.

CBPM Mining Award

To value and recognize Bahian mining, as well as its sustainable actions, CBPM created the CBPM Mining Award, which will elect the company and personality of 2022 in Bahian mining. The choice is being made by voting throughout the month of November on the CBPM website ( www.cbpm.ba.gov.br ). It is worth mentioning that the awards are different and the choice of the personality of the year does not occur together with the mining company (thus, one company and the personality of another can be chosen, if the voters decide). The disclosure of the results and the award ceremony will take place in the month of December, including when CBPM celebrates the 50th anniversary of its foundation.

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