The world’s richest mining entrepreneur and wealthiest man in Brazil, Eike Batista, is now also the largest holder of mineral rights in the South American iron ore-rich area of Mato Grosso do Sul, with 9,362.98 hectares under his control.
According to Correio de Corumba, the mining mogul owns that land both personally and through EBX Group, the holding Batista created in 1983 headquartered in Rio de Janeiro.
The exploitation of the subsoil mineral wealth of Brazil is done in two steps. First, the company must obtain an exploration license; then, it must commit to operating the potential mine.
However, since it can take a few years for a company to move on from phase one to exploration, it is crucial for firms operating in the South American country to have the “rights to access the land,” which prevents the territory in question to be explored by another company.
Eike, for example, is exploring for iron ore in the southwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso through EBX subsidiary MMX, in an area of 1611 hectares. The other 7,781 acres which, according to data from Brazil’s National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM), have no mining activities undergoing, are already reserved for the multibillionaire.
The figures, which came to light thanks to a new Access to Information Act, has caused some controversy in the country as Mato Grosso do Sul is a major tourist destination, famed for its natural beauty and a vast range pristine forests, rivers and waterfalls.
MMX Mineração e Metálicos S.A. ("MMX") is the only Brazilian iron ore mining company with integrated logistics listed on the Novo Mercado segment of the BM&FBovespa.
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Image taken from YouTube