Pedra De Ferro Share Fair – Brazil Just Got Nearer!

More than 150 delegates attended the Brazil Pedra de Ferro Share Fair event at the Henry Ford College in Loughborough earlier this week (11th July). The Share Fair was organised by the CEA on behalf of the UKTI (UK Trade & Investment) to promote a forthcoming $5 billion iron ore mining project in the state of Bahia in Brazil.

In association with ENRC and their Brazilian subsidiary, Bahia Mineraçäo (BAMIN), six representatives, including BAMIN’s President and CEO José Viveiros, flew to the UK to share the opportunities in the Pedra de Ferro iron ore project and to discuss how UK companies can be involved. The production is anticipated to begin in 2013 with a life of mine expectancy of a minimum of 20-years. The mining area, located 750km from the Bahia State capital Salvador, will span 6km in length, 1.5 km in width and an estimated depth of 6.5km.
Jan Lewis, president of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3) and director of Wardell Armstong Ltd opened the proceedings introducing BAMIN President and CEO, José Viveiros, who gave a brief overview of the project and timescales.
Flávio Galvão, Implementation Director, BAMIN, took delegates through the phases of the mine development, its stock yard and loading system and the 534 kilometre railway, which will transport the iron ore to port. BAMIN will operate their own trains, paying a right of way to the Federal government. BAMIN is also involved in a number of social and community programmes in Brazil and is currently providing an educational programme. Upon its completion, 5,500 people will be employed for construction and 1,100 for operation – they do not plan on importing labour. He also said that there would be no preferences to materials sourced in Brazil – BAMIN will be looking globally and for the best quality.
Flávio highlighted the aggressive schedule which is 38 months to get up and running. It is anticipated that the construction will start in six months, subject to obtaining the port environmental licence. The production target is 20million tonnes of ore per year, most of which will be exported. When in peak production the project will make Bahia State the 3rd largest producer of iron ore in Brazil.
Antônio Claret, Development Director BAMIN, discussed fleet requirements, which as this is one of the biggest pits in Brazil at 6km deep and 1.5km wide, is quite considerable. The plan is to buy the equipment and use their own operators. Equipment required includes trucks, front end loaders, shovels, crushers, screeners, in fact every conceivable piece of kit associated with mining. A date has not been released as yet for ‘official tenders’.
Other speakers from BAMIN included, Lafayette Caporalli, Mineral Processing General Manager and Ricardo Sa Fortes, Manager of Offshore Implementation.
Chris Wall, UKTI’s Brazil business specialist has been living and working in Brazil for over 30 years. Chris explained more about ‘doing business’ in Brazil and highlighted its qualities, which included politically stable, diverse, sophisticated and huge! Chris encouraged delegates to engage with the UKTI and take market advice and help.
Vera Dantas Innes, a lawyer specialising in Brazilian law, addressed delegates on the Brazilian legal system. Vera has been advising British companies for 20-years and explained that Brazil is stable in its legal system. She said, “Once you know the rules – it’s quite simple. But companies must do their homework and take advice.”
Mark Gilpin, Henderson Risk Management was on hand to discuss security issues – protecting people, assets and business. The company does the majority of its business in emerging markets so is well placed to advise on Brazil.
Finance was also on the agenda and this issue was addressed by Barrie Kilfeather, regional director Trade Finance, Santander. Santander is the largest bank in the world and is one of the top four banks in Brazil with circa 10% market share. Barry said, “doing business in Brazil is similar to dealing with Europe. Interest is higher than Europe, which companies must consider.” He also encouraged delegates to look at UK Government Support schemes, such a UK Export Finance (formerly ECGD).
Logistics and shipping to Brazil was covered by Gustavo Anacleto, Latin America, Trade Line Manager, IJS Global (UK) Ltd. Gustavo said exporting to Brazil “Was not difficult, just different.”
At the close of proceedings the CEA team spoke with some of the delegates and speakers at the event to get their feedback. Allen Smith, business and development manager, mining, Powerscreen, was a delegate and also a sponsor of the event, he said, “Brazil is one of our target markets for product sales – we already have a distributer in Brazil. We came here today to get more exposure. I spoke with the BAMIN delegation, which was very useful and hope that when they are ready to issue formal tenders we will be able to quote.”
Allen added, “Networking at these events is what it’s all about – already today, talking with a couple of guys, we have picked up the opportunity to do some business in Africa – a UK company looking to expand.”
Barrie Kilfeather, regional director, Trade Finance, Santander was one of the speakers. “This was a well-constructed and informative event, giving great insight into the Pedra de Ferro project,” he said. “UKTI’ Chris Wall asked me to be a speaker, and I was happy to oblige, today has the right mix of people with the right profile and very good engagement. The networking too has been fruitful.”
Peter Beach, business development manager Genquip was there with a new product – Hogloo – a remote effluent manager ideal for rural locations such as mines! Peter said, “It’s been a good day. I came here to show the new Hogloo which is perfect for mining projects. There’s nothing like it on the market. We are already doing business in Australia on mining projects – next stop Brazil?!”
Vera Dantas Innes, specialist Brazilian Lawyer said, “It was a very good event, well organised and well considered. The people that attended had a genuine interest in Brazil – and the interaction with the audience and speakers was excellent. The speakers gave a very good overview of the project and people were impressed. 150 plus delegates is a very good turn out and what was also impressive was that it was the ‘Top People’ from BAMIN that flew over to the UK – the decision makers.”
Gustavo Anacleto, IJS Global, Latin America Trade Line Manager said, “A very well attended event – the format worked very well and very positive. There should be more of these events – the highlight of my day, other than the networking opportunities, was the audience participation and interaction with the delegation and other speakers”
Jose Viveiros, President and CEO, BAMIN said, “Pedra de Ferro project will be one of the largest iron ore projects in Brazil, and we are looking to implement the best expertise and the most innovative solutions for mineral extraction and processing.  We are delighted to have met so many British manufacturers and service providers that are at the forefront of technological innovation.  I would like to thank UKTI and CEA for this unique opportunity and for well-organised event.”
The CEA will be reporting further on the developments of the Brazil Pedro de Ferro mining project as it progresses. Should you require further information please contact Julia Kalcheva at ENRC on +44 207 389 1861 or [email protected].
Source: CEA News Room