Iron ore rush creates mining boomtown in Brazil (Financial Times – August 15, 2021)

Finding a place to stay is not so easy these days in the Brazilian mining town of Itabirito.

Hotel rooms are scarce and rents have climbed, say locals, as outsiders descend on the hilly settlement in search of their fortunes — or maybe just a steady wage — from the iron ore deposits found in this tropical region of green valleys and streams.

Prices for the steelmaking ingredient have rallied over the past year, turning the modest town of about 60,000 people into a hotspot of the global commodities boom.

“It’s a special moment,” said mayor Orlando Caldeira. “Commerce is in full swing, even with the pandemic and all its difficulties”.

As growth returns around the world with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, buoyant demand for raw materials and basic foodstuffs is proving a godsend for Brazil’s miners and many of its farmers.

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