Portuguese Gold Mining Operations in Brazil

Flag of Portugal

Flag of Portugal

By: Donna Welles

Portugal has reported a diminishing net trade deficit in recent years. It is possible that wealth from gold mines in Brazil has helped the Portuguese economy to balance its net trade deficit. The price of gold is listed by the International Monetary Fund. Switzerland has been at the center of litigation in Brasilia because Brazilian government officials utilize Swiss banks. Switzerland imports more gold than any other country in the world.

The relationship between Portugal, Brazil, Angola, and Switzerland is unfolding right now in the South American media. Venezuela has recently begun a large-scale gold mining operation and the Venezuelan media has reported deaths in mines. The theme behind the investigations into Portugal and Switzerland is whether or not the methods by which wealth is being removed from South America is in keeping with international law.

Brazil and Angola have shared colonial histories with Portugal. Additionally, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Cabo Verde have shared colonial histories with Portugal. Guinea-Bissau and Angola are located on the African continent along the Atlantic Ocean and Mozambique is located along the Indian Ocean. Mozambique serves as a transit corridor between South Africa and Kenya. Cabo Verde and Sao Tome and Principe are islands off the coast of West Africa.

Angola has been in the media in recent weeks because Brazilian government officials have business connections in West Africa. Annually, Angola is burdened by a sizable net trade deficit and its energy and metals reserves are not being efficiently cultivated and exported. Mozambique does not report healthy finances to the World Bank. Guinea-Bissau for many years has not reported trade data to the World Bank.

Portugal began its colonial exploration in West Africa by way of Ceuta, Morocco in roughly 1400. Later, Portuguese sailors founded what is now Brazil in roughly 1500. Generally, Portuguese business interests first arrive in West Africa and then they appear in South America. Many cities in Brazil including Rio de Janeiro have sizable ethnically Angolan populations. Portugal has an unemployment rate of 16% and there might be domestic pressure on the Portuguese government to provide for internal demand.

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