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The relevance of Brazilian manganese exports

The importance of manganese for Brazil

     Manganese is an abundant ore in Brazil, especially in Minas Gerais, Amapá, Rio Grande do Sul and Pará, holding about 10% of the world reserve and 98.2% of the national reserve. Furthermore, it is essential in the steel industry, being used to alloy copper, lead, aluminum, zinc and tin, resulting in the production of steel. According to the Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services (MDIC), a large part of manganese exports are destined for China, Argentina, Uruguay, Norway and Ukraine. Also, Brazil has a prominent role among the largest manganese exporters in the world, ranking tenth until 2018, having been in the spotlight for more than 100 years.


Regarding ore extraction

     In 2022, the denunciation of the illegal exploitation of manganese by companies that circumvent the control bodies grew. In order to extract the ore from the ground, documentation is required to prove that the product was not removed from areas with forest conservation or indigenous lands, since the extraction causes environmental destruction. However, many companies operating in the Southeast region of Pará — especially the municipalities of Parauapebas, Curionópolis and Marabá — camouflage the necessary documents, placing other states as the place of issue.  

     As a result, in August 2020 there were seizures led by the National Mining Agency (ANM) of 70,000 tons of manganese — valued at R$60 million — that were clandestinely extracted in the port of Vila do Conde — the company that was responsible for the product did not even have authorization for extraction. In October of the same year, 146 thousand tons of ore of illegal origin were seized, which would be destined for China, this operation brought together IBAMA, the Federal Revenue Service, the Navy, the Federal Police and ANM. Since 2018, the Federal Police have launched about 100 investigations into the illegal extraction of manganese in Brazil, as the exploitation causes environmental damage and destruction, in addition to tax evasion and  looting of indigenous lands.

      According to the Brazilian Association of Mineral Research Companies (ABPM), if the extraction of this mineral were done properly, it could generate economic and social development, attracting investments that can improve the lives of residents of regions that have manganese. In this way, if manganese extraction is better supervised by responsible bodies, it could promote a considerable improvement in the exploration regions.  


Brazilian export

      The majority of Brazilian manganese production is destined for China, in January and February 2022, 121,000 tons were imported into Chinese territory, according to the Ministry of Economy. In such a way that ore exports to China have generated for Brazil, in the last six years, R$6.3 billion, totaling 11.2 million tons between 2016 and 2021 — considering that, in the same period, they were destined 4.7 million tons of Brazilian manganese to other nations. Of course, exports of the commodity to Argentina and Norway are also highlighted, with 91,700 and 44,000 tons, respectively.  


With the increase in the value of steel, the export of manganese is relevant

     As a result of the war between Ukraine and Russia, it is possible that the demand for manganese will increase, as the ore is important for the manufacture of steel, which is in high value in the international market. In this way, assistance from an international consultancy for the export of Brazilian manganese is essential, since better research will be carried out on which places are most conducive to gaining space in the international market.

Made by Juliana Boscarato on 04/24/2022

Reviewed by Sarah Vicente on 4/26/2022


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