søndag 13. august 2017

China is Driving a Boom in Brazilian Mining, but at What Cost?

In the middle of northern Brazil’s Amazon jungle, Chinese-made digging equipment rasps at the bottom of a giant iron ore mine. Here in the municipality of Canaã dos Carajás in the Serra dos Carajás in Brazil’s Pará state, some 1,600 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, Chinese engineers keep watch over a fleet of stackers, reclaimers, and other large-scale equipment in the adjacent ore processing plant that will eventually produce 90 million tonnes of the metal annually. 

A train with 330 cars (mostly made in China) waits to be loaded up before traveling approximately 600 miles to a cargo ship (also made in China) that will sail for 40 days from the port of Ponta da Madeira in São Luís in the neighboring state of Maranhão, delivering 400,000 tonnes of iron ore to Chinese ports such as Dalian, Caofeidian, Rizhao, and Qingdao. Once there, Chinese factories will transform it into cranes, drilling equipment, and smartphones, many of which will then travel back to Brazil to be used in its construction, energy, and retail sectors.