Brazil’s Minas Gerais lures lithium investments with fast permitting – by Anthony Barich and Kip Keen (SP Global – April 2023)

Brazil’s Minas Gerais state is fast-tracking the development of a “lithium valley” that it hopes will rival Latin American “lithium triangle” jurisdictions Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

The state government’s lithium valley initiative aims to “make the connection between the potential production of lithium” and pro-mining policies, said Fernando Passalio de Avelar, economic development secretary of Minas Gerais.

Minas Gerais — a state whose name literally means “general mines” — hosts over 300 mines and is Brazil’s largest producer of steel, graphite, beryllium, phosphate, iron ore, gold and zinc. It is home to over half of Vale SA’s iron ore production and the world’s largest niobium mine, Araxa.

Brazilian Geological Service studies from 2016 indicate 45 large lithium deposits with “high potential for economic use” in Minas Gerais, suggesting the state could multiply its lithium reserves 20 times over, local newspaper O Tempo reported. Argentina, Chile and Bolivia currently account for over half the world’s lithium resources, according to the US Geological Survey.

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