Aguia has an established and highly experienced in-country management team based in Porto Alegre (the capital of Rio Grande do Sul) that has a proven track record of advancing high-quality Brazilian mining assets into production. The team run two field offices in Rio Grande do Sul state, one in Lavras do Sul, close to the Três Estradas Phosphate Project, and the other in Caçapava do Sul. Aguia’s corporate office is located in Sydney, Australia.
Aguia is committed to advancing its existing projects into production, whilst continuing to pursue other opportunities within the agricultural sector.
Agriculture in Southern Brazil
Brazil is Latin America’s biggest economy and an agricultural powerhouse. Its climate, large tracts of arable land and ready supply of fresh water provide the key ingredients for an abundant food supply for its population of more than 200 million people. With its expanding agriculture sector, Brazil is currently the third-largest agricultural producer in the world.
Southern Brazil is home to the country’s richest agricultural assets and the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul is where Aguia has secured 100% of known and valuable phosphate deposits and prospects covering 334km². On the same latitude as the state of NSW, Australia, and elevation as the town of agricultural rich Armidale in NSW, Australia, this state of rolling hills and pastures is far from the tropical climate of the Amazon rainforest of northern Brazil, and a place that farming migrants from Portugal have called home for generations.
Despite the fertile soils of Rio Grande do Sul, the continuous cultivation over 50 years has caused exhaustion of soil nutrients, leading to a high demand for phosphate fertilisers in the state. Around 80% of all fertiliser in the state is applied to two crops (soybean and rice). Within a 300km radius of the Três Estradas Phosphate Project site, over 3.5 million hectares of these two crops are planted each year, demanding 245,000 tonnes of phosphate nutrient.
The presence of abundant natural resources in southern Brazil has made this region home to many very successful farmers and agronomists who possess a deep technical knowledge of farming practices. Investment in agricultural research has brought advances in science, technology, and innovation to agriculture.
These factors have further resulted in the creation of a significant and rich agricultural sector in southern Brazil. It has created inter-generational wealth amongst landowners who in turn have become savvy investors in the agribusiness sector. There is an openness to innovation and a key awareness of changing consumer needs and price points. There is also a pride taken in improving local production, in fostering employment and strengthening community which is palpable.
Aguia’s key projects, the Três Estradas Phosphate Project (TEPP) and the Andrade Copper Project (Andrade) are both located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, a prime farming area which is 100% dependent on imports of both phosphate and copper. Both projects exhibit high quality and low-cost production characteristics, and are ideally located within close proximity to road, rail and port infrastructure.
Aguia has significant copper targets in the Rio Grande copper belt, also within the state of Rio Grande do Sul and in close proximity to both the TEPP and Andrade. It is intended for further drilling of these targets to be undertaken once the TEPP is in production (Q1 2022) and the company has the financial ability to do so whilst minimising dilution to shareholders.