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REM - International Engineering Journal

On-line version ISSN 2448-167X

REM, Int. Eng. J. vol.70 no.3 Ouro Preto July/Sept. 2017 



Jório Coelho1  , Prof.

1Editor-in-Chef, Doctor Engineer by Polytecnique Institute of Lorraine-France, Retired professor of Federal University of Ouro Preto - School of Mines-Department of Geology. E-mail:, 35400-000 - Ouro Preto - BR

I am in favor of the unrestricted exportation of ore, since I have still not been able to convince myself that given our iron ore reserve, the exportation of this natural resource will leave a vacuum in our country and will, one day, produce a scarcity of raw material for our national industry.

Prof. Dr. Emídio Ferreira da Silva,

Commencement speaker for the mining and civil engineering class of 1935

When this issue of REM is distributed, the School of Mines of Ouro Preto will have completed one more year of existence, and a great Brazilian mining event will be occurring - the 17th Brazilian Mining Congress. Even so, the internet, TV, etc. are showing "Nationalists" shouting old clichés like "oil is ours" or "ore does not provide two harvests". And the worst of all, is that the reports are produced by people who are alien to the mineral world.

In his book "Thinking, Fast and Slow", Daniel Kahneman (Noble Prize winner for economy), recalls that "as public interest is easily stimulated by dramatic events and celebrities, media-fueled frenzies are common". A good example of this was the rupture of the Samarco tailings dam.

For this reason, I went back to the first issue of REM, where I found the message of the commencement speaker for the class of 1935 of the School of Mines, who in his speech, tells the truth about iron ore exportation that many people, because of their ideology, are still not able to accept it: to the contrary, this exportation will generate a compensation in salaries and export taxes, which is one more item to be included in our balance. Professor Emídio goes on to say: Besides this, we have an iron ore monopoly, as well as other regions almost as rich in ours, the foreign steel industry will strive whether we export or not our ore. All of this was said around 82 years ago when no one imagined the existence of Carajás and other reserves that have been encountered, as well as an advance in technology. The fact is that Minas Gerais is still a great large-scale producer of iron ore, etc.

As this was not enough, he argued: It is not necessary to clarify, however, that any fair interest of third parties should be duly exempt, for example, from the exclusion of any monopoly in this trade.

And he even delves deeper when he speaks of the dichotomy that exists here: in this field, we have two groups of extremists: those that consider Brazil to be the richest in the world, and those that consider it to be the poorest... But he proposes: I believe that the truth will be found in a third group, that of those who consider it sufficiently rich in mineral wealth to create an acceptable industry.

Now, to complete this editorial and try to demonstrate that we still think ideologically, I return to the speech of said professor who reached the target when he said: It is never importune to remind the young men of the task to be performed, so as not to fall into the error of adopting exclusivist opinions. It seems to me that our country cannot really be enlarged without merging its greatness into the solid foundation of mining and metallurgy.

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