University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

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 167

 THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF BRAZIL 167 
guera, S.A., proposed a $35 million project to increase its annual production
of low-alloy steel ingot from 72,000 tons to 300,000 tons by 1976. 
 Lcad.—Both mine and smelter production continued at 1971 levels. One
of the two producers, Cia. Brasileira de Chumbo (COBRAC) became a wholly
owned subsidiary of the Le Nickel Penarroya Mokta group (LNPM). The Soc.
Minera y Metallurgica de Penarroya, S.A., before its merger into LNPM, owned
a share of COBRAC. LNPM bought out the other major shareholder, Prest-O-Lite
Corp. 
 Nickel.—Based on nickel reserves in the Niquelandia area of -Colas,
estimated at 100 million tons of laterite ore, the Cia. Niquel Tocantins
(CNT), a su-bsidiary of S.A. Industrias Votorantim, began -building a pilot
plant. Finland's nickel producer, Outokumpu Oy, has licensed its nickel electrowinning
process to CNT. If results are favorable, a 2,500-ton-per-year plant will
be built to being operations in 1974. 
 Tin.—'The Rondônia tin district includes the entire State of
Rondônia and small adjacent portions of Amazonas and Mato Grosso. Production
of cassiterite concentrate in 1970 reached about 5,000 long tons. - In that
year, the Government, attempting to stop wasteful mining practices, prohibited
mining of tin by any except legally authorized and well-equipped organizations.
For entry into the area, the Government required that a company shall have
invested not less than $2 million in prospecting and, should the prospecting
have been successful, another $2 million in a mining plant. 
 Mining companies presently operating in the district include MineraçAo
Brasileira (MIBRASA), affiliated with W. R. Grace & Co., MineracAo Jacunda,
Minérios de Rondônia,- MineracAo Angelim, and Mineraçfio
Aracazeiro, affiliated with NL Industries Inc. Mineracao Aracazeiro purchased
an integrated movable mining plant, adapted from the equipment used in mining
coastal sands on Australia's east coast. The plant was built by Mineral Deposits,
Ltd., an Australian affiliate of NL Industries. 
 Brazilian army units neared completion of construction of 75 miles of road
linking the tin areas with the Mato Grosso highway system for access to the
East Coast smelters. 
Uranium.—The Comissflo Nacional de 
Energia Nuclear (CNEN) ordered a survey of recently discovered uranium deposits
near Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, 36 kilometers southwest of Belo Horizonte
in the Serra da Moeda, and within the Quadrilatero FerrIfero. Aerial geophysical
work was followed by surface scintillometer examination, disclosing about
100 anomalies. Core drilling by CPRM indicated mineralization in the Moeda
conglomerate, at three horizons within 200 meters of the surface. Analysis
of cores showed U3O8 contents from 0.1% to 0.3%. 
NONMETALS 
 Cement.—Production in 1972 was 16% greater than that of 1971. All
elements of the total production showed increases, except blast furnace slag
cement, which declined 5% to 769,000 tons. 
 Present output was said to have met current demand. The industry's major
problem, however, was unused capacity in the north, inability to meet total
demand in the south, and uneconomic transportation to move cement between
the two. Projected public and private construction will require a greater
supply of cement in the years ahead, and the Nation's nearterm expansion
of capacity, being mainly in Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro,
may solve part of -the problem. 
 Cement production capacity was 10.7 million tons (a revised figure) at yearend
1971. During 1972, 1.5 million tons of capacity at six new plants came onstream.
Two of these plants were in Bahia and one each in the Federal District, MaranMo,
Rio Grande do Norte, and São Paulo; the latter, built by Camargo Corr~a
Industrial S.A. at Apiai, was the largest, with 600,000 tons capacity. Another
1.5 million tons of capacity was added during the year by expanding existing
operations. In various stages of planning, financing, and construction were
17 plants having a total capacity of at least 5.9 million tons, about 3.4
million of which was expected onstream by yearend 1973 at six locations.
 Sodium Compounds and Chlorine.—In anticipation of demand arising from
rapid expansion of petrochemical production, construction of two chlorine-caustic
soda plants began during 1972. At Recife, Cia. Argo Industrial Igarassu contracted
for construction of a 15,000-ton-per-year plant 


Go up to Top of Page