Brazil ready to double iron ore royalty but boost fertilizer production
Brazil is offering a carrot to encourage domestic production of fertilizer while at the same time, reaching a little deeper into the pockets of iron ore miners. A Mining Ministry official from the South American powerhouse said Thursday that Brazil plans to boost taxes on iron ore while cutting the levy on fertilizers as part of a plan to overhaul mining regulations, The government is studying a plan to double the royalty on iron ore to 4 percent of gross revenue from 2 percent of net sales now, Claudio Scliar, the ministry’s secretary for geology and mining, said today in an interview. The levy on fertilizers may be reduced from 3 percent to prompt producers to increase domestic output of the crop nutrients, he said, declining to specify the size of the cut.The move comes two weeks after news that Brazilian miner Vale SA, the world’s number one iron ore miner and second most valuable global miner, plans to invest $15 billion by 2020 to diversify its assets and become one of the world’s biggest fertilizer producers. MINING.com reported that Brazil relies on imports for 80% of its fertilizer needs and the government considers the industry strategic as it ramps up agricultural production. Apart from Vale a number of potash producers have been zoning in on the Amazon – $68 billion is forecast to be invested in Brazil mining over the next four years.