Mining in Brazil - CORE CASE

Mining in Brazil

Brazil has a very large territory and significant geological diversity.

The Brazilian economygrowth is largely linked to the rising prices of commodities, including agricultural products,metals, and especially iron ore.

In this text we will address the main aspects about mining in Brazil, such as the main oresextracted and prominent commodities.Read the text to the end to learn more about this topic!

Main Ores extracted in Brazil

Iron Ore

Brazil is one of theworld’s leading players in the mining industry.

With one of the world’s largest mineral deposits, in addition to being an important producerand exporter of high quality ores, the mining industry in Brazil is one of the pillars of theBrazilian economy.

According to IBRAM, the Brazilian mining industry has contributed to the country’s positivetrade balance and the prospects for economic activity are extremely optimistic for the comingdecades.

The main ores produced in Brazil and their respective mines and producing states are:

Ore Main Mining Plants 
Iron 33 in Quadrilátero Ferrífero (Iron Quadrangle – MG); N4 and N5 (PA). 
Copper Chapada (GO); Sossego (PA); Salobo (PA) and Caraíba (BA). 
Aluminum Oriximiná and Paragominas (PA). 
Manganese Azul (PA); Lucas (MG); Urucum (MS), Comin (MS); Buritirama (PA); Morro da Mina (MG). 
Nickel Santa Rita (BA); Buriti (GO); Barro Alto (GO); Niquelândia (GO) and Onça-Puma (PA). 
Tin Bom Futuro (RO); Massangana (RO) and São Lourenço (RO). 
Niobium Barreiro (MG) and Boa Vista (GO). 
Gold Fazenda Nova (GO); Aurizona (MA); Jacobina (BA); Morro do Ouro (GO); Pedra Branca do Amapari (AP); Crixás (GO); São Vicente (MT); São Francisco (MT); Santa Bárbara (MG); Sabará (MG); Cocais (MG) and Caeté (MG). 

These ores constitute essential metallic minerals for Brazil’s strategic mineral production.  

Iron ore deserves special attention due to the country’s position as the major exporter of this resource. The major Mineral Provinces for iron deposits are the Mineral Province of Carajás in the state of Pará and the Mineral Province of Quadrilátero Ferrífero in the state of Minas Gerais.  

Hematite corresponds to the main Brazilian iron ore mineral, in its oxidized form.  

The Brazilian mining industry is cross-sectional, present in three economy sectors:  

  • Primary (mineral research and mining) 
  • Secondary (mineral transformation) 
  • Tertiary (market, trade) 

It is highly heterogeneous in terms of segment, from artisanal mining to mining companies with technical excellence in geology, both contributing to Brazil’s economic growth. 

According to IBRAM, in the last decades, mining in Brazil has gone through a period of vigorous growth, contributing positively to structural changes in the social and economic spheres.  

This growth is driven by an increasing demand for minerals due to the urbanization process, not only in Brazil, but in emerging countries, where large land areas make these countries important players in the global mining scenario.  

According to the International Council on Mining and Metals, the mining industry’s contributions to the Brazilian macroeconomy are increasingly relevant.  

Data provided by IBRAM shows that this industry went from less than $10 billion in product value in 2000 to about $53.6 billion in 2014 (estimated value) representing 5% of Brazil’s industrial GDP.

Prominent commodities in the Brazilian economy 

Brazil presents a prominent position in the global mining scenario, both in reserves and mineral production, having reached a mineral production of about $57.7 billion in the year 2018, which represented about 4% of the country’s industrial GDP. 

The mining industry reached more than US$ 49.8 billion in exports, with iron ore accounting for about US$ 20.2 billion. In 2021, Brazil exported 357.7 million tons of iron ore.  

Vale’s mine in Carajás, Pará | Photo Agência Brasil | EBC 

Exports of iron ore, gold and copper account for the largest share of Brazilian dollar exports (91.8 %), the main destinations for Brazil’s iron ore are China (68%), Malaysia (6.4%) and Japan (3.6%).  

The main product imported by the Brazilian mineral industry in 2021 was metallurgical coal, an increase of 25% in tons. The main countries supplying this product were Colombia (27%), the United States (26%) and Australia (24%). 

Search for new mineral deposits in Brazil 

In recent years, the Brazilian Geological Service has made investments in geochemistry, geophysics, geological mapping and metallogenetic studies, focusing on projects in the country’s main mineral provinces to enhance discoveries in these areas. 

“Brazil is a global player in the production of mineral commodities, such as iron, manganese, niobium graphite and ornamental rocks. We also play an important role as major exporters of nickel, gold, copper and kaolin. But our expectation is very positive, because we have many emerging mineral provinces and a huge potential to be explored. Our future will certainly be to expand the mining industry. And CPRM plays an important role for the country to get there”, analyzes the director of Geology and Mineral Resources at CPRM. 

Brazilian Mining in the current environmental scenario 

Devido à crise econômica mundial desde o segundo semestre de 2013, os empregos gerados pelo setor de mineração no Brasil vêm desacelerando. No entanto, este setor continua a ser um importante criador de empregos. 

Due to the global economic crisis since the second half of 2013, jobs creation in the mining sector in Brazil have been slowing down. However, this sector continues to be an important job creator.  

On the negative side, the mining industry in Brazil has suffered a number of environmental disasters, the most recent and broadly covered by media occurred in November 2015 (in Mariana) and January 2019 (in Brumadinho), both in the state of Minas Gerais.  

Although Brazil has signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, there has been a slowdown in Brazil’s environmental legislation, which may make it easier to set up mines and tailings storage facilities. 

The economic, social and environmental impacts of the sector have not yet been fully documented or discussed in reports submitted by companies and government agencies in the country. 

Given the economic importance of the mining sector to Brazil and its high environmental and social risks, achieving sustainability in all related activities represents one of the most important goals for the industry.  

Therefore, studies are carried out and companies are focusing on sustainable methodology in the Brazilian mining industry more and more frequently. It is necessary to develop alternatives so that such an essential industry can thrive in the current and future social scenarios. 

Preservation is our Core business 

CORE CASE is a Brazilian-Canadian company with 11 years of activities that consolidated its position in the mining market and is present in the most important companies in this industry. 

Cases and accessories supplied by Core Case are produced using 100% recycled and recyclable plastic (Polypropylene – PP), have an ergonomic shape, are resistant, light, and easy to transport, besides being more durable than boxes made of wood and other materials. 

If you want to know more about our services, contact us! 


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