Report: Brazil's precious metal mining industry could be hit by fall in gold and silver
Gold production in Brazil is expected to drop over the next five years to reach 2.6 million ounces (Moz) by 2020, with silver production also predicted to fall to 707,007oz, according to a report by Timetric.
Entitled 'Precious Metals Mining in Brazil to 2020', the report states that the gold production will be impacted by the falling ore grades at the Tucano and Paracatu mines. In addition, the impending closure of Turmalina mine in 2018 and ongoing drop in the Serra Grande mine reserves are expected to add to the declining gold production. The country's silver mining is also expected to face similar problems resulting in production being reduced.
Brazil was among the world's ten biggest gold mine producing countries in 2015, and also produced 2.8Moz in 2014. Silver production in 2014 was also higher than the latest projected value at 809,000oz.
Brazil's gold metal reserves at the end of 2015 were 2,400t, making them the sixth largest gold metal reserves worldwide, while the country's silver metal reserves at the end of 2013 were 3,890t. Minas Gerais, Para and Goias are the country's gold rich regions, while silver reserves are mainly concentrated in the states of Goias, Para and Mato Grosso.
The Timetric report also reveals that Brazil's mining industry has been a mainstay of the country's economic development. The industry accounted for 4% of the GDP in 2014 and employed 160,000 workers. Its significance is due to the country's abundant minerals, including gold, silver, copper, bauxite, iron ore, coal, manganese, nickel, zinc, platinum, and diamonds.
Key players in the industry are AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Kinross Gold Corporation, and Yamana Gold Inc, while the governing authorities are the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM) and Brazil Geological Survey (CPRM).