Correction: Brazilian Official: Mining Projects Are 'National Priorities'
Correction: Some comments attributed to Pedro Bruno Barros De Souza were taken out of context and removed from the article.
(Kitco News) - While the world continues to react to the election of Brazilian populist president Jair Bolsonaro, some government officials don’t expect this to have much impact on the nation’s plan to develop its natural resources.
In an exclusive interview with Kitco News ahead of the October runoff election, Pedro Bruno Barros De Souza, secretary of public policy coordination, said that the government’s Investment Partnership Program (IPP) is committed to developing the nation’s natural resources responsibly.
“Brazil has a lot of mineral potential and there are many opportunities for investors and companies who want to work with the government to develop those resources,” he said. “The Brazilian government has been working diligently on its governance to create a stable legal, regulatory framework, so investors will find a positive business environment.”
Image courtsey of T photography / Shutterstock.com: Carajas Mine, the largest iron ore mine in the world, located in Para, Brazil
Although Brazil is home to the world’s largest iron and nickel producer, Vale, and is the world’s third-largest iron ore producer, Barros De Souza said that more work needs to be done to make sure the sector continues to grow and mature.
Brazil’s IPP was first launched in 2016 to help the nation out of its most prolonged recession in the country’s history. Barros De Souza said that the program is expected to bring $90 billion in infrastructure investment into the country within 25 years. Currently, the government has 191 projects in the IPP portfolio.
As part of the IPP portfolio, the government, in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Brazil, has identified several regions for mining development.
“By law, the projects that belong in the portfolio are national priorities. Working with mining companies to develop these regions is a national priority for the government,” he said. “The geological survey has collected a lot of information on these regions and now it is time to move to the next step and find companies who want to explore the region further.”
Bruno Eustaquio Ferreira Castro De Carvalho, a program director within the IPP, said that the goal of the program is to identify new regions every year and then auction the exploration rights to companies. He added that so far, the government is pleased with the companies that have expressed an interest in developing the regions identified.
“We know the potential within our countries and we know we can attract the best companies to work with us,” he said.
Castro De Carvalho added that with this program, mining companies will benefit from having allies within the Brazilian government who will be able to help them navigate the country’s relatively new regulatory framework.
While some foreign investors might be reluctant to put their money in Brazil, Barros De Souza said that officials are hoping the government’s commitment to transparency and the rule of law will assuage some of those concerns.
“We have learned a lot from our history and we believe we have created a strong regulatory framework that investors can trust,” he said.