This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 8/10/2017



Mining Sector in Brazil       (Unit: US$ Thousands)

Mining Sector in Brazil




2017 (estimated)

Total Market Size




Total Local Production




Total Exports




Total Imports




Imports from the U.S.




Exchange Rate to US$ 1.00:




 Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports)

Data Sources:
Total Local Production: Brazilian Mining Institute (IBRAM), Brazilian Ministry of Industry and Commerce MDIC, Brazilian Association of Machinery Manufacturers ABIMAQ and press reports.
Exports and Imports: Brazilian Ministry of Industry and Commerce MDIC.

Brazil is the world’s fifth largest mineral producer and, as a result, one of the world’s largest markets for mining equipment. During 2013 to 2016 however, a prolonged recession occurred in the international mining market and prices for most Brazilian mineral commodities decreased significantly, with a corresponding negative impact on Brazilian mining companies. In the case of iron ore (Brazil’s main mineral product), prices decreased by 75 percent during this period, and nickel decreased by 60 percent. The Brazilian mining industry depends heavily on exports, so global mineral commodity prices have a greater impact on Brazilian mining companies than on Brazil’s overall macroeconomic outlook.
By the end of 2016 global mineral commodities began to slowly increase, with some recovery in international prices and in sectoral activities. The price for iron ore (a crucial indicator for this sector in Brazil), went from US$40/metric ton (62 percent grade) to almost US$90/metric ton, but it dropped to US$70 by late April 2017. A small improvement is expected in the following years, depending on the performance of the metallurgy industry worldwide, especially the steel industry. As a result, there are no new (“greenfield”) large projects confirmed for the next few years and many mining companies are facing a difficult financial situation.
The aluminum subsector has suffered the most due to increased competition from China and higher production costs in Brazil. After reaching a record of 1.66 million metric tons of primary aluminum produced in 2008, its output has fallen to 772,000 metric tons in 2015 and 793,000 metric tons in 2016.
Statistics for the combined total of all mineral production in Brazil during 2016 were not available at the time of this report, but are estimated to be at the same values as the previous year (US$53 billion), or slightly lower. This compares to the highest annual value achieved in 2011, of US$70 billion. Falling prices were the main factor causing the decline, especially for iron ore, since in tonnage terms the output for most minerals actually showed a small increase. Gold, nickel, copper, bauxite/aluminum and other minerals are also on the same trend of falling prices.
Brazilian mineral exports were US$36.6 billion during 2016 or 19.2 percent of all Brazilian exports. Iron ore represented 36 percent of all mineral exports and 7 percent of all Brazilian exports (in terms of value) during 2016. Brazil exported 374 million metric tons (MMT) of iron ore during 2016, compared to 366 MMT during 2015. In spite of this increase of 2.2 percent in the volume exported, the income generated by these exports actually decreased by 5.6 percent to US$13.3 billion.
Brazilian mineral imports in 2016 were US$18.5 billion, or 13.5 percent of all Brazilian imports. NPK (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium), the raw materials for the fertilizer industry, are the main minerals imported into Brazil, accounting for nearly 35 percent of Brazil’s total mineral imports. Coal is second, representing nearly 30 percent.  Brazil is also a big importer of copper concentrate and sulfur.
The United States was largest exporter of minerals to Brazil in (11.8 percent of the total), followed by Chile (10.5 percent) Russia (10.2 percent), Colombia (9.4 percent) and Australia (8.6 percent).  U.S. exports to Brazil in this sector are largely comprised of metallurgical coal for the steel industry.
China has played a very important role for Brazilian mining companies and has become the largest importer of Brazil’s minerals, especially iron ore. Most of the mining sector’s recently developed or planned projects are tied to China’s demand for Brazilian minerals.  During 2015, China was the destination of 30 percent of all Brazilian mineral exports (in terms of value). The United States was the second largest importer in 2015, (6.8 percent of the total), followed by the Netherlands  (6.3 percent), Japan (6.1 percent), UK (5.2 percent), and Germany (4.3 percent).
Brazil is the world’s largest producer of niobium, the second largest producer of iron ore and manganese, and the third largest producer of bauxite. It’s the 11th largest producer of gold, with a total output of nearly 2.8 million ounces/year. The most important minerals in Brazil, with their respective production stated in millions of metric tons per year (MMT/y), or in metric tons per year (MT/y) in 2015, and the Brazilian share of the world production are:

Mining Brazil

Mining - Brazil share of world production



Percent World total

Iron ore

400 MMT/y



793,000 MT/y



35 MMT/y



80 MT/y



3 MMT/y



2.8 MMT/y



90 MT/y


Potassium Chloride - KCl

490,000 MT/y


Phosphate Concentrate

8 MMT/y



290,000 MT/y


Lead (primary)

25,000 MT/y


Lead (recycled)

142,000 MT/y



500,000 MT/y



12,000 MT/y



270,000 MT/y


Uranium (U3O8 concentrate)

180 MT/y


Construction aggregates

416 MMT/y


Raw Material for Cement

70 MMT/y of cement



6.4 MMT/y


In 2015, iron ore comprised 60 percent of the total value of minerals produced in Brazil, followed by construction aggregates (15 percent); gold (8 percent); copper (4 percent); nickel (3 percent); bauxite (3 percent); phosphate, coal, manganese and potash nearly one percent each; and kaolin, asbestos, niobium, graphite, and zinc each providing less than one percent of the total value of minerals produced.  Brazilian mineral production is concentrated in the central state of Minas Gerais (37 percent of the total value), and in the northern state of Pará (mainly in the Carajás mining area, in the Amazon region), with 35 percent of the total, followed by the states of Bahia and Goiás.
Brazil still has potential for discovering new mineral deposits, especially in the north of the country, where its territory has not been fully surveyed. Investments in geological exploration in Brazil have been under US$300 million annually, which some analysts consider low when considering that Brazil is the fifth largest mineral producer of the world when  compared to the estimated worldwide exploration budgets in 2015 of US$13 billion.
Legal Limitations in Brazil: There is a limitation on ownership of mining projects located less than 150 kilometers from the Brazilian border. They must be at least 51 percent owned by Brazilian citizens, a minimum of 2/3 of its employees must be Brazilian citizens, its administration must be controlled by Brazilian citizens, at least 51 percent of all employees in management positions must be Brazilian citizens, and their headquarters must be located in Brazil. There is currently a discussion in Congress considering a project for modification of this law, with support of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, to allow for more participation of foreign-owned capital. There are no limitations in supplying to mining companies in Brazil, although import taxes and fees may be high (see item “Opportunities”). The only state-owned mining company in Brazil is CRM, a small coal mining company with an output of 2.5 million metric tons/year.   
Leading Sub-Sectors

Brazil has a very limited market for turnkey machinery in general, as a large number of leading multinational manufacturers have factories in Brazil. In fact, many of them export some of their products from Brazil.  These companies provide excellent opportunities for U.S. suppliers of parts and components for most types of mining equipment, such as earth-moving machines, belt conveyors, crushers and grinding equipment, laboratory instruments, drilling machines and geological survey systems. For this reason, it is very difficult to export turnkey equipment to Brazil as opposed to components.
The best prospects for exports are components for local manufacturers located in Brazil, or components for maintenance of existing facilities. In order to supply turn-key projects it is normally also necessary for the supplier to get involved in long term financing operations with the project owners. 
In order to be competitive, imported products will need to offer much higher technology or cost/benefits compared to the locally-made products, as local companies tend to prefer buying locally even in cases of lower quality. Import taxes and fees in Brazil are generally very high, and import procedures are complicated and bureaucratic, which often leads tobuyers favoring local over imported products.
Most of Brazil’s mines are open pit, so the market for underground mining equipment is small. There are, however, some gold mining projects due to come out in the next 4 years, that are expected to open underground mines.

The Brazilian Mining Institute IBRAM estimated in 2015 the total amount being invested in mining to be nearly US$15 billion annually. This may be considered a very low volume of investments, given the potential of the country. And this figure will certainly be much lower in the next few years, as most operations are running well below full capacity because of low global commodity prices. However, investment in maintenance of existing facilities is still one of highest in the world, as Brazil is a top producer of many minerals.
According to IBRAM, there are several other reasons for the recession in this sector, such as excessive bureaucracy for the necessary environmental permits; difficulty in raising local capital; and a federal mining regulatory framework that has been undergoing revision by Congress for almost nine years.  To date, a revised mining code has not been submitted to Congress for debate and review.
The Brazilian market for mining equipment is very competitive. Most large multinational manufacturers have factories in Brazil, where they manufacture for the domestic market and frequently also export from Brazil to many other countries. Typically, these companies use 50 to 90 percent Brazilian-made components to build their equipment in Brazil, in terms of value of the final product.
U.S. and other international firms with factories for mining products in Brazil include Caterpillar, Cummins, Eaton, GE, Goodyear, Ingersoll Rand, ITT, P&H MinePro, Terex, Timken, 3M (USA), AseaBB, Sandvik, Atlas Copco, Scania, SKF, Tamrock, and Volvo (Sweden), Case New Holland, FIAT, CNH and Iveco (Italy), Koch, Kuttner, Liebherr, MAN, Mercedes Benz, Schaeffler, Schenk Process, Siemens, Thyssen Krupp, Voith and Wehr, (Germany), Michelin Tires and Saint Gobain (France), Komatsu, NSK and Toshiba (Japan), Metso and Outokumpu (Finland), Orica (Australia) and JCB (UK).
There are many Brazilian manufacturers competing with similar technologies, or which have technology transfer agreements with foreign companies and dominate big shares of the domestic market. The largest ones include Bardella, Dedini, Isomonte, Jaraguá, Randon, and Villares. There are also hundreds of medium-sized Brazilian companies that specialize in manufacturing all types of parts and components for the suppliers of turn-key equipment.
It is beneficial for foreign manufacturers of equipment to have some degree of local presence in Brazil. Smaller companies that cannot afford to establish a local subsidiary must at least have a good Brazilian representative that can supply or subcontract technical maintenance. Brazil’s mining companies, even the very large ones, prefer to contact a Brazil-based representative and do all the import procedures through them, instead of contacting the foreign suppliers directly.
Price and just-in-time delivery for components are key factors for most importers. Some large mining companies have their own bonded warehouses where they store imported products in Brazil, locked under customs’ agreement. These products will go through customs and be paid only when they really need to be used. Unskilled labor is relatively cheap in Brazil compared to the U.S., so equipment that eliminates large numbers of employees are not necessarily financially attractive to Brazilian companies. Highly qualified labor, especially engineers, earn wages that are competitive with those in the U.S.
Import tariffs and fees in Brazil are very high. Import duties on mining equipment are normally between 5 to 12 percent calculated based on the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) price. These import duties are adopted as a single tariff structure for the Mercosul free trade area which also includes Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. There are also three local taxes. The following taxes apply to both local and foreign products. They apply the same rate for Brazilian or imported products, but for imported products they will apply on the top of the import and other taxes, so that the actual rate for imported products is higher:

  • IPI Industrialized Products Tax: federal tax calculated on top of the CIF price plus Import Tax, is five percent to eight percent for most products
  • ICMS Merchandise and Services Circulation Tax, a state government value-added tax: 18 percent of the final price in most Brazilian states
  • PIS/COFINS, Social Integration and Social Security Financing Contributions: 9.25 percent but can represent up to 12.63 percent of the CIF price due to a complex calculation formula
  • Additional Miscellaneous Taxes and Fees: Warehousing, handling charges at port, transportation, etc.

If a specific product is not manufactured in Brazil and it is considered a priority by the federal government (normally raw materials and machines only), it may be granted the minimum import tariff of two percent for up to two years, pending an official analysis by the import authorities that may take about one year. This is the “Ex-Tarifário” system.
Trade Shows:

The Brazilian mining show is the largest event of this sector in Brazil. It is held every second year in September in Belo Horizonte. It is sponsored and organized by the Brazilian Mining Institute IBRAM, with support from most local mining companies and manufacturers of mining equipment. This show is recommended for U.S. companies looking to understand or partner with Brazilian mining companies, and to make personal contact with related government entities that travel to the show from around the country. The next edition of this event will be on September 19-21, 2017 in Belo Horizonte.

MT Expo is a trade show for maintenance and technology of heavy construction and earthmoving machines. It is held every second year, and the next one will be in June 2018 in São Paulo. It is organized and sponsored by the Brazilian Association for Construction and Mining Technology SOBRATEMA.
The main mining projects expected to launch in the future in Brazil are:
VALE started a ramp up in 2016 of its “S11D” project (also known as Serra Sul), its largest-ever operation and the biggest private investment project made in the last 10 years in Brazil. Vale is investing US$14.5 billion in this project, to add 90 MMT/y of iron ore of very high quality and very low cost when fully operational by 2020. It also includes a new processing plant, a 101 Km railroad, and expansion of the port in São Luis. The project uses a truckless system of transportation, with 30 Km of conveyor belts. The processing plant will reduce water consumption by 93 percent compared to conventional methods. The entire S11D deposit has a mineral potential of 10 billion metric tons of iron ore.
VOTORANTIM has the “Alumina Rondon” project, with an investment of US$2 billion, for an integrated alumina refinery with a capacity of three MMT/y and a bauxite mine with a capacity of 7.7 MMT/y in the north of Brazil, that is to  start before the end of 2017.
It also has the “Caçapava do Sul” project in the south of Brazil, to open a mine for the annual production of 36,000 metric tons (MT) of lead, 16,000 MT of zinc and 5,000 MT of copper concentrate. The company expects approval of the environmental license for 2017 and start-up of operations by early 2020. This project involves an investment of nearly US$100 million, in a joint-venture with the company Iamgold.
Copelmi started last year the construction of the “Seival” mine, which will supply 2 million metric tons/year of processed coal to a new power plant that is being built by Tractebel. This project has already contracted electricity sales to end-users in public auctions in Brazil and must be ready within 2 years (2018).
MRN Mineração Rio do Norte is currently investing nearly US$2 billion to expand its output of currently 18 MMT/y of bauxite. This company belongs to Vale(40 percent), Rio Tinto(12 percent), Alcoa(18 percent), South 32 (15 percent), Hydro(5 percent) and CBA(10 percent).
There are many gold mining projects underway in Brazil. Besides the companies mentioned in more detail below, there are smaller projects by Crusader, Equitas, Luna Gold, Santa Elina, Brasil Minerals (BMIX), Orinoco, Cleveland Mining, Brio Gold and Anfield Gold.
Many other projects that were planned in recent years have been postponed or canceled due to the low prices in the international market, especially for iron ore by the companies Manabi, MMX, Bamin, Gerdau, Centaurus Metals, London Mining and others.
Prospective Buyers:

Vale is Brazil’s largest (and the world’s third largest) mining company.  It is also the largest world producer of iron ore and nickel. Privatized in 1997, VALE is responsible for more than 40 percent of Brazil’s mineral output in terms of value, and represents an excellent opportunity for U.S. equipment suppliers. VALE produces nearly 80 percent of all Brazil’s iron ore output, 100 percent of potash, 85 percent of manganese, and is also the top player in copper and nickel production. The output of its main minerals in 2016 (including all operations worldwide) was 349 million metric tons (MMT) of iron ore, plus 46 MMT of iron ore pellets, 483,000 oz of gold (as a by-product of nickel and copper concentrates), 2.37 MMT of manganese ore, 453,000 MT of copper concentrate (contents in ore), 500,000 MT of potassium chloride (KCl), 7.2 MMT of coal (in Australia and Mozambique), 7.5 MMT of phosphate rock, 311,000 MT of nickel (in Brazil, Canada, Indonesia and New Caledonia). VALE is also the top logistics player in Brazil, especially for ports and railroads, not only for its own use, but also as a supplier of logistics services to other companies. It is the largest Brazilian consumer of electricity.
During 2015 VALE had its biggest loss in history, of US$12.2 billion, mainly due to very depressed prices for its products, write-offs of several assets and the devaluation effect (45 percent) of the Brazilian currency on its debt in dollars. But in 2016 the company has recovered again with very good results and a bottom line of US$3.9 billion net profits (worldwide). VALE has been the largest Brazilian exporter since 2013, with total exports in excess of US$12 billion annually, or 6 percent of all Brazilian exports, considering only its exports from Brazil.
Brazil’s second largest mining company, producing 35 MMT/y of iron ore, in joint-venture with several Japanese and Korean partners. It is also the second largest Brazilian steel producer, with an output of 6 MMT/y of steel.
Samarco was the third largest Brazilian mining company, but it has discontinued production when its tailings dam collapsed on November 5th, 2015, causing the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history. The company could re-start operations in 2017 depending on the outcome of litigation in cases  related to the tailings mine collapse. It belongs 50 percent to Vale and 50 percent to BHP, and was producing 30 MMT/y of iron ore pellets before the disaster.
MRN (Mineração Rio do Norte) :
MRN produces 18 MMT/y of bauxite. It belongs to Alcoa (18 percent), South 32 (15 percent), Rio Tinto (12 percent), Votorantim (10 percent), Norsk Hydro (5 percent) and Vale which is currently negotiating sale of its 40 percent share. MRN is the fourth largest mining company in Brazil.
Yamana is the fifth largest mining company in Brazil. It has two big operations: “Chapada” mine, which produced 111,000 GEO gold last year and 130 million Lbs copper and the “Jacobina” mine an underground mine that produced nearly 75,000 GEO last year. Adding other smaller projects and its subsidiary Brio Gold, Yamana produced 310,000 GEO in Brazil last year, or 26 percent of its worldwide output. Yamana bought in April 2016 the gold mining operations of Carpathian Gold in Brazil, adding some 40,000 GEO/y to its output.
Anglo American:
Since 2010, Anglo has a big nickel project named “Barro Alto,” with an output of 35,000 MT/year in ferro-nickel alloys, besides 9,500 MT in another mine. In late 2014 it started up a large iron ore project that has been built for an output of 25 MMT/year. It is currently in ramp up process and delivered 16 MMT in 2016. Anglo sold its niobium and phosphate operations in Brazil to China Molybdenum (CMOC), for US$1.7 billion last year.
Norsk Hydro:
Norsk Hydro (from Norway) has bought in the last years most of Vale’s assets in the aluminum chain. Hydro has currently five percent of MRN (bauxite mining), 57 percent of the Alunorte alumina refinery (the largest in the world), the big bauxite mine of Paragominas (15 MMT/y of bauxite), 51 percent of the Albras foundry and 61 percent of the CAP refinery project, all of them located in the state of Pará, in the north of Brazil.
AngloGold Ashanti:
AngloGold is the second largest gold producer in Brazil, with an output in excess of 500,000 oz/year (13 percent of its worldwide output). It projects to increase its output in Brazil to 670,000 oz in the next years.
Kinross Gold Corp:
Kinross Gold Corp of Canada has been Brazil’s largest gold producer since 2008. Its output in Brazil has been more than 500,000 oz/y. Its Paracatu mine is the largest gold mine in Brazil and is planned to be in operation until 2040. It also operates one mine in Brazil (“Crixás”) in joint-venture with AngloGold Ashanti.
The largest industrial conglomerate in Brazil, it is the only local producer of zinc and the fifth largest in the world, with an output of 690,000 MT of electrolytic zinc in 2015. Votorantim also owns a share of 80 percent of Milpo (lead, copper and zinc mining in Peru and Chile). Its subsidiary CBA produced 325,000 MT of aluminum metal in 2015. Its nickel operations have been discontinued in 2015 due to very low prices in the international market, and will resume as soon as market conditions improve. Votorantim also has many limestone mines for its own consumption, as it is Brazil’s largest cement manufacturer, with more than 40 percent of the total local output. Other subsidiaries in the group include big manufacturers of steel products, cellulose, orange juice and a bank. Votorantim reached an agreement last year with Eldorado Gold for joint operation of Eldorado’s gold mines in Brazil.
CBMM has a share of nearly 80 percent of all the production of niobium in the world, and Brazil has 97 percent of all known niobium deposits. It is currently expanding its installed capacity from 90,000 metric tons/year of ferro-niobium to 150,000. CBMM has also researched the metallurgy of rare earths, and is investing to develop technology to start producing magnets from rare earths out of its own deposits.
Brazil’s largest steel manufacturer, it also has a mining company, but its output has been decreasing significantly in the last years. In 2016 it was only 2.8 MMT of iron ore, compared to 3.9 MMT the year before, and 5 MMT in previous years.
Also one of the largest Brazilian steel-makers, produced nearly 8 MMT/y of iron ore in 2015, mainly for its own consumption.
ArcelorMittal has had an output of 3 MMT/y of iron ore, for its own steel mills. This company is Brazil’s third largest steel producer.
Ferro + Mineração:
Currently 2.5 MMT iron ore/year, it sold most of its operations to Usiminas.
V&M (Vallourec & Mannesmann) has an output of 4 MMT/y of iron ore, also for its own consumption.
The former MMX, which had an output of 6 MMT of iron ore in 2012 and planned to reach 24 MMT before going bankrupt, was recently sold to the Dutch Trafigura and UAE’s Mubadala. It is expected to start up again in the next year under the name Mineração Morro do Ipê.
Jaguar and its subsidiary Mineração Turmalina produced 96,536 oz of gold in Brazil in 2016.
Serabi produced 30,000 oz of gold in 2015.
Aura Minerals and its subsidiary Min. Apoena, with an output in excess of 150,000 oz of gold in 2016.
Avanco Resources started up in April 2016 its copper and gold mine in the north of Brazil, and produced 11.188 metric tons of copper content and 7.779 oz gold until the end of the year, after having made an investment of US$55 million. The company is expanding to reach an output of 50,000 metric tons of copper content and 30,000 oz gold/year. Glencore and BlackRock are investors in this project.
Beadell Resources, from Australia, is the third largest Brazilian gold producer, with 150,000 oz of gold in the north of Brazil during 2016.
Amarillo Gold is investing nearly US$200 million to produce 140,000 oz/y of gold in the next years.
Belo Sun, a Canadian company controlled by Forbes & Manhattan, has a plan to invest US$300 million to develop what would be the largest gold mine in Brazil, the Volta Grande project. This  project would be located alongside the Xingu riveronly 14 Km from Belo Monte, the second-largest Brazilian hydro power plant (11,200 MW). Belo Sun estimates that it could produce 167,000 oz/y during 21 years in this mine. The project has been through long and expensive technical research and negotiations with the local government.  To date, it is unclear if Belo Sun will receiveits operations permit due to environmental concerns.
Caraíba, a traditional copper mining company that had closed all operations in 2016 due to the low global copper prices, was sold in early 2017 to the Canadian company Eros Resources Corp. and will re-start operations in 2017. Caraíba also created a subsidiary for gold mining, called NXGold, which has started up in 2013 and has processed nearly 300,000 MT of ore/year.
Largo Resources, from Canada, has had an output of nearly 800 metric tons/month of vanadium pentoxide.
Mirabela Nickel was producing nearly 12,500 MT of nickel (in metal content) and 3,500 of copper/year, but totally discontinued its production in Brazil in early 2016, due to the current low metal prices.
Diamonds and Gems: Brazil has exported approximately US$200 million worth of gemstones and US$7 million worth of diamonds per year, but these products have a very high potential for increasing production. Recent discovery of a large primary deposit (kimberlite) of diamonds will soon put Brazil back on the map of the world largest diamond producers. Last year the Belgian company Lipari started producing these diamonds in Brazil, planning an output of 220,000 carats in 2017 and 400,000 carats in 2020. This would change Brazil’s position in the world ranking of diamond producers from 19th to 11th. The whole output of the country in 2014 was 31,000 carats. Another important company is Five Star Diamonds, which successfully launched an IPO in the Toronto Stock Exchange TSX-V in April2017, valued at C $40 million, with 22 diamond mining projects in Brazil.
Magnesita has produced nearly 1 million metric tons/year of refractory materials.
Cancana Resources and Brazil Manganese Corp. have produced 30,000 MT/y of manganese ore, planning to increase to 50,000 in 2017. 
Fertilizers: Brazil is a big importer of raw materials for fertilizers: phosphate, potassium and nitrogen. The largest local producers of fertilizers are Mosaic, Yara, Galvani, MBAC (Itafós) and Vale, which is currently in the process of selling most of its assets in this subsector to Mosaic. Galvani is currently investing US$500 million to start a plant to produce 1.2 MMT/y of phosphate fertilizers.
Construction Aggregates: The total Brazilian consumption of construction aggregates during 2016 was only 416 million metric tons, compared to 741 million in 2014, due to the overall economic recession in the country. For 2017, an increase of only 4 percent is expected. The largest supplier of this segment is Mineração Jundu, with large sand mining operations.
For more than 35 years Brazilian coal production has been stagnant with output varying between four to seven million metric tons of processed coal/year. Total output of processed coal reached 6,354,000 metric tons during 2016. Only steam coal is available in Brazil (no metallurgical coal), and it is of poor quality with low calorific values and very high contents of ash and sulfur. Total Brazilian coal deposits are estimated to be 32 billion metric tons with proven reserves of seven billion metric tons, 89 percent of which is in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Candiota mine in RS has 38 percent of all proven reserves in Brazil. Geological research in coal deposits has been stagnant in Brazil for decades because of the low quality of the local coal. For this reason, market analysts believe that the size of the proven deposits could increase significantly if there were more investments in exploration.
As new coal-fired power plants come on line, the total output is expected to reach 11 million metric tons/year by 2020. The total capacity of coal fired power plants in Brazil is 3,205 MW, or 2.5 percent of the total energy generation.
There are 13 coal mining companies operating in Brazil and all of them are small when compared to U.S. producers. The largest coal companyis CRM (Companhia Riograndense de Mineração), which is owned by the state of Rio Grande do Sul. This is the only state-owned mining company in Brazil. It had an output of 2.5 MMT of processed coal in 2015. The second largest coal mining company in Brazil is Copelmi, with an output of nearly 1.6 MMT/y of processed coal. The only coal project currently in development in Brazil belongs to Copelmi. Nearly all of the other Brazilian coal mining companies are located around the city of Criciuma, in the state of Santa Catarina, and all of them operate small underground mines and use the room and pillar method.
Two Brazilian companies have coal mines in foreign countries: VALE has produced coal in Mozambique since 2011 and in Australia since 2002. Votorantim has a subsidiary investing in coal production in Colombia, called Minas Paz del Rio (MPDR). It plans to expand production from 200,000 MT in 2013 to 2.5 MMT by 2020. 
Brazil is traditionally a large importer of metallurgical coal for its steel mills, as all of its domestic coal production is steam coal. Total Brazilian imports of coal have been nearly US$2.8 billion/year. The United States has been the main supplier of coal to Brazil, with more than one third of all Brazilian imports, followed by Colombia (28 percent), Australia (20 percent) and Canada (11 percent). The list of Brazilian steel manufacturers, with technical details, market information in English and links to each one’s website is available on their site.  
Web Resources

Information in most of these websites is available only in the Portuguese language.

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