Toronto (March 3, 2020) – An auditorium packed with a very attentive audience attended an insightful and comprehensive overview of the mining sector in Brazil yesterday at PDAC 2020. Gathered at the traditional Brazilian Mining Day event, mining professionals and executives from Brazil and Canada watched a series of presentations covering government guidelines and industry testimonials on the latest advances in the sector. Welcoming attendees, Brazilian Mining Secretary Alexandre Vidigal talked about diverse aspects of the government strategy to expand the activity, highlighting Brazil’s potential as a “(gold) mine of opportunities.”
Vidigal spoke on a range of topics from regulatory changes to sensitive issues, including indigenous rights and the Brumadinho dam disaster in 2019. The latter triggered a set of actions aimed at improving safety standards in the sector, starting with the mandatory decommissioning of all existing 84 tailing dams in Brazil by 2027, and enforcing mining companies to adopt strict monitoring measures.
“The government is fully committed to avoiding other disaster like Brumadinho.”
Mining in indigenous territories is also under scrutiny in Brazil. The secretary expressed the government’s intention to reconcile mining exploration with indigenous rights. He noted that some indigenous communities in Brazil see mining projects as an opportunity to benefit from the resulting economic impact. “It’s not fair to deny those communities a better life,” observed Vidigal, as he explained that the Brazilian constitution allows mining in indigenous territories, provided that the projects are approved by the community and that locals are compensated accordingly.
Among other measures to boost mining investments in Brazil, Vidigal mentioned government policies to expand the national geological database, new legislation to open uranium exploration to the private sector, and actions to strengthen the recently launched regulatory agency National Mining Agency (ANM). Operational since 2019, the AMN started with ambitious goals, such as deploying over 20,000 new areas for exploration through public offerings and electronic auctions, and reducing the processing time for granting exploration permits to 34 days, from the current 344 days. “It’s an achievable goal for those areas with no issues,” explained AMN director Tomas Pessoa Filho.
On the business side, a federal Investment Partnerships Program (PPI) matches investors in mining projects of the Mineral Resources Research Company (CPRM) with mineral deposits already spotted. The program provides investors with support through the privatization process, including researching stages, transfer of ownership, and project implementation. Four CPRM projects, in the states of Paraiba (Phosphate), Goiás (Copper), Rio Grande do Sul (Coal), and Para (Kaolin), are going to auction this year.
The Brazilian Mining Day showcased several international companies that have recently invested in exploration or reported discoveries in different mineral provinces in Brazil. An overall feeling of confidence was expressed by most executives who took the stage. The Big River Gold Executive Director Andrew Richards, for instance, highlighted costs and stability law as advantages of operating in Brazil, while Bahia Mineração CEO Eduardo Ledsham pointed out favorable exchange rates.
For Mike Hodgson from Serabi Gold, which seeks to double its gold production to 100,000 ounces per annum in one year, in the State of Para, the local support makes a difference. “We are in an area where mining is really being encouraged.” Ero Copper Chief Geological Officer Mike Richard, in turn, sees the interlocution between government and industry a positive point. “As long as you show that you are working in good faith, advancing the project, making the expenditures, successfully finding resources, you are fostering a great relationship with the ministries.”
About PDAC 2020 – The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) 2020 Convention is the world’s premier mineral exploration and mining event. PDAC is the leading voice of the mineral exploration with over 7,500 members around the world. PDAC 2020 will take place March 1-4 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada marking its 88th year.
For more information, visit: www.adimb.org.br.