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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1972
Year 1972, Volume 3 (1972)

Wessel, F. W.
Brazil,   pp. 155-169 ff. PDF (1.6 MB)


Page 155

  155The Mineral Industry of Brazil 
By F. W. WesseP 
 The mineral industry of Brazil completed its seventh consecutive year of
expanded production, keeping pace with the economy as a whole. Domestic and
foreign investors and the Government itself were active in exploration and
development of and production from mining properties throughout the country,
including important deposits in rapidly developing Amazônia. 
 The Brazilian Government created and maintained a political and financial
climate favorable to such activity. The Government also continued its long
and generally successful campaign to slow the rate of inflation while bringing
about an annual economic growth rate of 8% to 10%, and to reduce the negative
balance of trade by fostering industries that (1) will produce materials
heretofore imported, and (2) will produce for -the export market. 
 On October 14, President Médici signed two bills designed toward
improving the country's trade balance. Decree-Law 1-240 offers partial or
total exemption from income taxes to those companies mining ores in excess
of domestic needs for export. To qualify, the company must have over 50%
Brazilian ownership, its fiscal structure and technical capability must be
approved by the appropriate government agency, at least half of the quantity
produced must be for export, and the f.o.b. value of the beneficiated or
otherwise treated ore must be at least 50% higher than the value of raw ore
at the same shipping point. The Decree-Law also permits a qualifying company
to deduct part or all of the tax normally paid on dividends to non-Brazilians;
the money is credited to the company in a special fund earmarked for two
purposes only: development of mining property, and payment of other federal
taxes. 
 Decree 71,248 provides for government financing of .companies attempting
to produce minerals which are in short supply in 
Brazil. The Government will provide financing in amounts up to twice the
funds invested by the company in bringing the property to production. The
minerals specified in the decree are copper, zinc, nickel, sulfur, phosphates,
sodium compounds, and coking coal. 
 In April, Cia. de Pesquisa de Recursos Minerais (CPRM), the Government's
mineral exploration agency, contracted with Texas Instruments, Inc., for
a detailed survey of Brazil's mineral potential. In October, Litton Industries'
Aero Service Division completed an aerial survey of 1.7 million square miles
of the Amazon Basin. The use of side-looking airborne radar was the basis
for producing maps of an initial accuracy of one-eighth mile. A private multinational
investment company, Adela Empreendimentos e Consultoria, Ltda., began a 5-year
exploration -program for mineralization, concentrating on Brazil's Precambrian
areas. 
 Brazil is devoting much effort to the infrastructure. The Trans-Amazon Highway,
a 3,100-mile link between Joflo Pessoa on the Paraiba coast to the Peruvian
border runs roughly parallel to and about 200 miles south of the Amazon River.
The road will provide improved communication with the Rondônia tin
district and, because of its intersection with the Belem 
—Brasilia highway, will link Amazônia with both northeastern
and southeastern industrial centers and -ports. The road is to be completed
in 1974. 
 Much effort was also invested in developing hydroelectric power and river
transportation in the Paraná basin. The Sete Quedas hydroelectric
project, on the border of Paraguay about 500 miles west of São Paulo,
is planned to produce 10 million kilowatts of electric power. Interna1 Physical
scientist, Division of Nonferrous 
Metals—Mineral Supply. 


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