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Virtual Smart Mining R&D Partnering Mission to Brazil - November 24-26, 2020

Request for Expression of Interest

Global Affairs Canada through the Consulate General of Canada in São Paulo and the trade office in Belo Horizonte, and the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), will be pleased to receive your application to participate in the “Virtual Smart Mining R&D Partnering Mission to Brazil, which will take place from the 24th to the 26th November 2020.

Due to COVID-19 and restrictions for travel around the globe, this mission will take place virtually. It will be followed by a mission to Brazil, in September 2021, during EXPOSIBRAM Belo Horizonte, should the situation allow.

Interested companies must apply no later than October 9, 2020.

Mission Objective

The R&D Partnering mission will focus on introducing Canadian SMEs to potential Brazilian partners for industrial R&D collaboration specific to ICT solutions applicable to the mining sector, with the objective of optimizing processes, safety, and reducing costs, and losses.

Examples of R&D collaboration being targeted include:

Collaborative R&D projects (validation, adaptation and co-development) between Canadian and Brazilian companies resulting from the “Canadian Smart Mining R&D/Technology Partnering Mission to Brazil” may be eligible for Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) funding.

Canadian Delegate Profile

Canadian participants should meet the requirements below in order to benefit from this initiative:

Technology and products of particular interest in the Brazilian sector include ICT solutions applicable to the mining sector that optimize production, safety, accountability, environment performance, and local community support, and more specifically, solutions related to:

Mission Description

The Smart Mining R&D Partnering Mission to Brazil will take place from November 24th to 26th, in the margins of EXPOSIBRAM Amazônia Trade Show (in part virtual this year), an international event in the Brazilian mining sector. EXPOSIBRAM Trade Show, is the largest mining trade fair in Latin America, organized by the Brazilian Mining Association (IBRAM) which normally sees participants, from around the world, and attended by the major mining companies with global operations as well as big suppliers of products and services. Innovations in technology, equipment, software and other products related to the mining industry, and information about investment and management are released and presented at the event.

Elements of the virtual 3-day mission may include:

There will also be pre-mission activities, to fully prepare you to co-innovation and the Brazilian market organized by our team.

A second phase will be proposed to the selected participant to complement the virtual mission, in the format of an incoming mission to Brazil in September 2021 during EXPOSIBRAM.

Why Brazil?

Brazil is one of the world`s leading mineral producing nations and a major importer and exporter of minerals. Opportunities in Brazil exist for mineral exploration, equipment manufacture for supply chains, and services. There is great interest for solutions that address challenges related to processes, safety, costs, and losses.

Brazil produces some 70 different minerals in 9,400+ mining exploration companies. A small number of large mining companies dominate, positioning the country as the world’s top producer of niobium; among the top three in iron-ore, vermiculite, graphite and bauxite; and in the top five in kaolin production. Brazil also exports nickel, manganese, chrome, gold, tin, magnesite and dimension stones and imports copper, sulphur, phosphate, zinc, coal ore, potassium, diatomite and rare earth metals. Iron-ore represents some 59% of the country’s mining production undertaken by Vale and its subsidiaries.

The Brazilian mining industry has faced turbulent times over the past 5 years. Challenges have been a result of major tailings dam failures, e.g., Mariana in 2015 (Samarco mining complex) and Brumadinho in 2019 (Vale mining complex); poor infrastructure; high energy and labour costs; a burdensome and complex taxation system; slow licensing and approval processes as well as the recent implementation of a new legal framework for the sector. As a result, the Brazilian mineral sector lost almost half of its value, falling to US$24 billion in 2016. Despite the drop, mining GDP rebounded in 2019 to US$38 billion. In many aspects, the extractive sector remains key for the Brazilian economy, accounting for 4.2% of the country’s GDP (Oil & Gas included).

Canada has a significant presence in the Brazilian mineral sector, where numerous Canadian companies are active in exploration, equipment and services. Canadian mining exploration companies have invested over US$4 billion in Brazil since 2015. Canadian firms do over 70% of Brazil’s gold production and 100% of its vanadium production.

ICT: Brazil is home to a number of equipment manufacturers (7,500 companies), supplying the market an estimated US$19 billion in 2019. Still a robust and competitive market, mining sector accounted for US$1 billion in imports of heavy equipment in 2019. However, innovation will be essential to dealing with a new scenario of anemic growth in global demand, weak prices, increased volatility, gaps in workforce training, greater pressure from clients, growing nationalism and regulation of resources.

The solution lies in increasing efficiency through automation and use of robotics, artificial intelligence and integrated systems, that are transforming the sector by enhancing productivity and profitability of operations. The mining industry continues to integrate all these new technologies (Industry 4.0), which should make mining safer and more productive. According to Valor, impacts on digital transformation in the mining sector by 2025 will generate profits of US$425 billion for industries, clients, society and the environment, with an estimated gains of US$30 billion from reduction of CO2 emissions amounting to 610 million tons, saving 1,000 lives and avoiding over 44,000 accidents in the mining industry.

So, Canadian companies offering innovative and specific niche solutions for Internet-of-Things, Automation, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Digitalization, Learning Machines applied to the mining sector may find opportunities in the Brazilian market.

Financial support for Travel Costs (applicable to in-person mission only)

The Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) may provide financial support to eligible participants for 50% of all eligible expenses (see application process below) such as:

How to Apply for Participation

  1. Interested companies should request an application form from Franz Brandenberger (Franz.Brandenberger@international.gc.ca), Trade Commissioner (Mining) at the Government of Canada Trade Office in Belo Horizonte. A complete application form requesting additional information on your company, your technology and your interest in discussing possible R&D opportunities will be sent to you;
  2. Completed application forms are due no later than October 9,, 2020 to Franz Brandenberger (Franz.Brandenberger@international.gc.ca);
  3. The Consulate General of Canada in São Paulo, the Government of Canada Trade Office in Belo Horizonte and NRC IRAP will select companies to participate in the mission. Selected applicants can expect to be notified no later than October 19, 2020;

Please note: Participation is limited. Applications submitted will be assessed and vetted to determine the eligibility and the relevance of the Applicant to participate in the R&D Partnering Mission based on the quality of the information provided in regards to the technology and the appropriateness of the technology for the target CIIP market.

Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in collaboration with the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) delivers the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) in Brazil. CIIP supports industrial R&D collaborations between Canadian SMEs and companies in key markets, including Brazil.

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