|More than 45,000 persons visited Exposibram 2011, a window to Brazil mining activity, held in the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State. In addition, the 14th Brazilian Mining Convention, held simultaneously to the exhibition, had over 2,000 attendants.
Paulo Camillo Vargas Penna, President of Instituto Brazileiro de Mineração (IBRAM), the entity organizing the event, highlighted the event success and the excellence of its presentations. "Our assessment is very positive; we believe the discussions were of high level, with the presence of qualified lecturers and public,” which contributed to a debate beneficial for the sector. Vargas also highlighted the presence of leaders and executives from the world main mining companies.
In fact, one of the main purposes of this meeting was getting the industry executives closer to vendor companies in order to generate contacts and take better advantage of commercial opportunities to be generated by the large investment projects on going in Brazil.
The mining event was held in the Expominas exhibition and convention facilities, where 390 exhibitors filled the more than 14,000 m2 built surface. International delegations from more than 21 countries participated in the exhibition, among them Germany, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, the USA, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Peru, United Kingdom, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland, which showed the best of their mining goods and services offer.
One of the main subjects addressed in the event was the impact of the new regulating framework the Brazilian Government is seeking to implement in the mining sector. On this matter, the Secretary for Geology, Mining, and Mineral Processing, Claudio Scliar, affirmed during Exposibram opening ceremony that the new mining law "will not create problems for company competitiveness".
On the other hand, IBRAM President stated that they understand the Government intention to modernize the Mining Code with updated laws. “However, as the private sector does not know the current contents of this proposal, there is a feeling of uncertainty,” he warned.
The Government is preparing three law-drafts: a new regulating framework for the sector, already known as the Mining Law; another one that modifies the financial contribution law on mineral resource exploration (CFEM); and the third one that creates the National Mining Agency to replace the current National Department of Mineral Production.
Mining representatives have expressed their concern that these changes will result in legal uncertainty which, in their opinion, would be a “disastrous” situation.
Subjects related to social license and bio-diversity conservation were also part of the discussion agenda. On the subject, AngloGold Ashanti Executive Director, Mark Cutifani, valued the importance of sustainability “a subject very relevant for the mining industry”. He added that "it is important to speak about the positive aspects of mining currently, to show that we are trying to perfect the industry, should be always attentive to what we can improve, and learn from our errors in order to build a better future. For this, these discussions are fundamental."
Also, some companies took advantage of the exhibition in order to show their institutional profile; for instance, Fernanda Lima, Communication Coordinator for Anglo American Iron Business Unit, indicated that participation in the exhibition was very positive. “We are partners and are always present in Exposibram, in Belo Horizonte as well as in Belém. Even our world CEO, Cynthia Carroll, was one of the speakers at the convention, which confirms the importance of this event for our group," she stated.
Other companies presented the latest products and processes related to the activity, such as MBE Processamento Mineral do Brazil. According to its Executive Director, Lars Elschnig, the exhibition is an opportunity for companies to learn about a flotation technology used in the iron, gold, copper, and other mineral processing plants. "The result was so positive that we are going to do everything in our hands to be present at Exposibram-Amazônia next year," he said.
For 2012, IBRAM offers a series of events to promote mining activity in other states of Brazil, such as the International Convention on Mining Law, to be held on May, and the International Conference on Energy Management in the Mining Area (Enermin 2011) to be held in September, both in Salvador.
The third Exposibram-Amazônia in Belém has been confirmed together with the 7th Brazilian Convention on Open Pit and Underground Mining to be held in Belo Horizonte in July.