Brazilian giant, Vale starts mining exploration


Brazilian mining giant Vale has entered the Ethiopian mining sector with a general exploration license in the Konso area of Southern Nation and Nationalities People’s Regional State (SNNPRS). Vale established its exploration site on a 190 square kilometer area.
Marcelo A. Borges first secretary and deputy mission at the Brazilian Embassy in Ethiopia told Capital that the company, which obtained its exploration license in late September, is the biggest Brazilian mining company and the second biggest in the world after the Australian mining firm bhpbilliton.
Marcelo said Vale mainly aims to explore and extract gold but will also look for other minerals that could be commercially viable such as iron ore.
Ethiopia, last year earned about 485 million dollars from exporting 11 tons of gold.
This is the first Brazilian company to invest in Ethiopia although another Brazilian company, Tramontina exports household goods, tools, electric materials, and kitchen equipment to Ethiopia. 
Marcelo further said a big delegation from the Ethiopian Sugar Corporation has recently visited Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer, as well as India to learn about the sugar industry in those countries. Ethiopia and Brazil are currently talking about how Ethiopia can get technical cooperation in the sugar sector from its Brazilian counterpart.
Marcelo says their cooperation is based on demand, capacity and non interference in internal matters.
Meanwhile, Hibir Sugar Share Company that is planning to develop a sugar plant in Ethiopia, was negotiating with another Brazilian company called BFDCC for a joint venture sugar factory, but talks fell through.
Marcelo also said there are tentative plans for a Brazilian business delegation to visit Ethiopia in February 2012 although the business sectors that are going to be represented are still being worked through.   
Vale mines throughout the world. In Africa it operates in Mozambique, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon, Guinea, Liberia, Malawi, South Africa and in the copper belt region of Zambia.