Codemge’s CEO on Leveraging Minas Gerais’ Position as Brazil’s Niobium Mining Powerhouse


In this interview with Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) Director Melissa (Mel) Sanderson at PDAC 2024, Thiago Coelho Toscano, CEO of Companhia de Desenvolvimento de Minas Gerais (Codemge), discussed the strategic endeavors and visionary pursuits of Codemge in Brazil’s mining sector. As the economic development agency for the state of Minas Gerais, Toscano shared insights into the state-owned company’s role in leveraging Minas Gerais’ position as Brazil’s mining powerhouse.

Toscano highlighted Codemge’s collaboration with CBMM to exploit niobium deposits in Minas Gerais, a venture that not only boosts regional development through significant profit-sharing but also invests in diverse sectors including real estate and other minerals. Toscano shed light on the innovative use of niobium in enhancing steel and revolutionizing battery technology for electric vehicles (EVs). Niobium, when used in conjunction with lithium in batteries, significantly reduces charging times due to its ability to maintain lower temperatures, thus preventing overheating. For instance, an electric bus utilizing this technology could be charged in just 10 minutes. This breakthrough has implications beyond EVs, potentially benefiting energy storage solutions in wind turbines as well.

The discussion also touched upon Codemge’s efforts to attract global investors to the rich mineral sector of Minas Gerais. By simplifying the mining license acquisition process and creating a more transparent marketplace, Codemge aims to create a conducive environment for investors, thereby accelerating economic development within the state.

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