Mining in Brazil

  • Silvia Figueirôa
Living reference work entry
Brazil, throughout the five centuries of its history, has always been seen as a supplier of mineral resources of all kinds, whether in popular imagination or in the official and unofficial discourses. The well-known Brazilian historian Sérgio Buarque de Holanda summarized in a clear, even poetic form this view of a country seated on treasures of all sorts, when comparing Brazil and other Latin American countries:

We will also have our El-Dorados. Those of mining, for sure, but also those of sugar, of tobacco, of coffee, so many agricultural items pulled out from the fertile soil, as gold is extracted from gravel till it runs out, with no payback of benefits. The procession of miracles will therefore continue throughout the whole colonial period, and it will not be interrupted by the Independence, not even the Republic. (de Holanda, 1969, p. 323)

Among these riches, some always remained the focal point of explorers, as shown, for example, by a survey of all the decrees that authorized...


Paulo State European Mining Lateritic Deposit Mining School Portuguese Settler 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Campinas (UNICAMP)São PauloBrazil