Sunday, Dec 17, 2017
Industry & Trade | South America | Brazil

Digging for buried treasure


6 years ago

Foreign firms can use their expertise to help exploit Goiás’ vast mineral reserves
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Vast mineral reserves are ripe for exploitation in Goiás

Goiás, the third biggest mineral-producing state in Brazil, is widely known for its abundant pool of minerals, and is particularly richly endowed with copper, contributing up to 30% of national production. The state is also the second-largest producer of niobium and also has substantial reserves of gold, phosphate and nickel.

Many of the minerals Goiás produces are of such high quality and rarity that major financial institutions such as J.P. Morgan have looked to the state to consolidate growth in the sector.

“We are the leaders in the production of strategic elements, such as niobium,” explains Tasso Mendoza, Cabinet Head of the Goiás Mining Administration. “We are the second-largest producer of niobium in Brazil, which we export all over the world. We also have the country’s largest mine of chrysotile asbestos; we produce gold; and we have an impressive production of phosphate that we plan to increase. In addition, we are one of the biggest nickel producers in the country. All this makes us as an important state among the producers of high quality minerals.”

As with most emerging economies with an abundance of mineral deposits, the mining sector is hugely important to the overall economical development of Goiás. To this end, the mining administration is keen to attract foreign companies to create viable commercial partnerships to further explore mining possibilities and pass any benefits on to the local communities.

“We have developed, in partnership with the Federal Government, a large aero-geo-physical umbrella program that lays out our mineral potential,” says Mr. Mendoza. “It is like a huge X-ray of the mines in the state. This program has mapped out the main promising areas in Goiás and has provided detailed data that can generate metallogenetic maps that will attract investments in research, exploration and mineral production in Goiás.”

Mr. Mendoza adds that they are particularly keen to do business with American and Canadian companies, who have the expertise, particularly with regard to developing investment funds for mining.

“We are mostly focused on attracting these types of companies because we have great potential and need to itemize the research and evaluations of the deposits,” says Mr. Mendoza.

Currently, foreign companies doing business in Goiás include Canadian firm Yamaha Gold Group; Anglo American Corporation; the Votorantin Group; Companhia Vale and local group Edem Mineração.

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