Brazil’s mineral production falls 17% in first quarter of 2020

The Brazilian Mining Association (Ibram) has reported that total mineral production fell by 147 million tonnes in the first three months of 2020, citing adverse weather conditions and the economic effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Brazilian mining companies produced 220 million tonnes (Mt) in Q1 – a 17% drop on the amount produced in the same quarter last year. The total production value in the quarter was US$6.8 billion.

Iron ore accounted for 63% of Brazil’s total mineral production, but exports of the metal fell by 16.5% to 70 Mt in the three-month period. At 11% of total mineral production, gold was the next most significant mineral in Brazil.

“This reduction was mainly due to the heavy rains that hit the country earlier this year, declines in world growth rates and uncertainties in the financial markets,” Ibram said in a press release.

The organisation expects that further declines in production throughout 2020 will contribute to a 45% drop in national mineral output for the year, according to a study from the Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais.