PDAC 2020: eyes turned to Brazil

The country was highlighted in debates on business and investment opportunities in one of the most important mining events in the world

 By Sérgio Siscaro

The official delegation of Brazil, with more than 100 members, including entrepreneurs, specialists, investors, and public and private sector authorities, led some of the most competitive discussions on the prospects of the mining sector during the 88th edition of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). The fair, recognized for being among the most relevant in the global mining scenario, took place between March 1st and 4th in Toronto (Ontario), a city that also has the largest fundraising center for the activity in the world, with the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

The second day of the event hosted the Brazilian Mining Day, a complete agenda of seminars and presentations of the mining sector in the country to the international community. On the agenda, the partnership between the Brazilian Mining Agency (ANM – Agência Nacional de Mineração) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), public policies for the safety and the development of the activity, regulatory issues, the new Brazilian scenario, and the thousand areas that will be made available in the territory of Brazil.

“As regards foreign trade, in 2019 we managed to represent 20.8% of the Brazilian exports in the mineral sector, with a surplus of US$ 21.9 billion. Our goal is to exceed these numbers in 2020”, said the secretary of Geology, Mining, and Mineral Transformation of the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, Alexandre Vidigal, during the event.

Brazil was also a protagonist in the capital market. Representatives of the country’s entourage were invited to make the official opening of the Toronto stock exchange trading day. On the same occasion, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Instituto Brasileiro de Mineração (Brazilian Mining Institute (Ibram), TSX, and TSX Venture Exchange, in order to increase the investments in Brazilian mining.

The day’s agenda also included the launch of the Women in Mining Brazil Action Plan, which counted on the participation of Canada’s general consul in Rio de Janeiro, Evelyne Coulumbe. On the occasion, Largo Resources and Nexa Resources signed up for the Plan, which aims to contribute to the advancement of women in the mining sector.

Coordinated action

The Brazilian delegation, which occupied a pavilion at the 88th PDAC, was organized for the first time by a joint effort of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Brazilian Mining Agency (ANM – Agência Nacional de Mineração), the Agency for Technological Development of the Brazilian Mineral Industry (Adimb – Agência para o Desenvolvimento Tecnológico da Indústria Mineral Brasileira), the Brazilian Mining Institute (Ibram – Instituto Brasileiro de Mineração), and the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC), among other organizations. “This way, it was possible to take a more cohesive action than in other years, showing businesspeople and investors from several countries the potential of Brazil as an investment destination in the mining area”, said the CCBC Business Development consultant, Armínio Calonga Jr.

In addition to the activities of the joint agenda, the members of the delegation led by CCBC, such as Usiminas and the law firms Tozzini Freire Advogados and Willian Freire Advogados, among others, had an exclusive complementary agenda. For example, a specific agenda of business meetings for Usiminas was established, allowing its representatives to strengthen relationships with executives and investors from abroad, with the presentation of the company’s projects.

In their turn, the law firms were able to talk about the specificities of Brazilian law and legal certainty in the country for potential foreign investors, in a joint event with Miller Thomson, a law firm from Canada and associated with the CCBC. “It was an opportunity to present the potential for investments in Brazil to a more select audience”, said Calonga Jr.

More than 23 thousand people from 130 countries visited the PDAC this year. The event was structured in three main segments: the fair itself; an agenda of training, courses, lectures, and forums; and the presentation of projects seeking financing. Discussions in the 2020 edition also included the Canadian government’s plans to encourage the use of electric vehicles in the mining sector and the recent wave of mergers and acquisitions in the gold segment.