Brazil expected to auction off 300 mining areas in 2007

17 October 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 17 Oct – The Brazilian Geological Service, which is linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, is planning to auction off 331 mining area in 2007, Brazilian newspaper Valor Econômico reported.

The mineral reserves that are for sale are made up of areas for mining or harvesting coal, nickel, copper, diamonds, zinc, peat (used to produce fertilizers) and rare earth metals (raw materials used in components for the electronics industry).

Lots will be spread over regions and by minerals and the prices will be announced in the first half of 2007.

According to Valor, of the 331 areas to be sold, 258 already have the necessary documentation for the bidding process.

The growing trend in international prices of metallic raw materials could attract international mining companies, the paper said, adding that there were already companies interested in bidding, such Vale do Rio Doce, Votorantim and Anglo American. These three companies, according to the paper, plan to buy the areas of nickel.

The reserves, discovered in the 1970s, are spread over all the five regions of Brazil (North, Northeast, Center-West, Southeast and South).

The main areas to be negotiated contain peat (Northeast, Center-West and coast of Southeast and south), diamonds (Bahia, Northeast), phosphate (Pernambuco, Northeast), gold (Tocantins, North), and lead, nickel, copper and zinc (State of Goiás, Center-West).

The mineral rights of these areas have been owned by the Brazilian Geological Service for 40 years and most of the geological studies were carried out over 30 years ago, according to the paper. (macauhub)