Business

Known for sun and sand, Bahia boasts booming mining industry

Mineral production in Bahia rose 62 percent last year, providing much-needed wealth to the state's poor and semi-arid interior region

Known for sun and sand, Bahia boasts booming mining industry
Underground mine in Bahia: 105 kilometers of galleries. Photo: Mineração Caraíba S/A

For foreigners and the vast majority of Brazilians, the northeastern state of Bahia is synonymous with sun, sand, and partying. Indeed, the region’s beaches attract millions of holidaymakers every year, with tourism being responsible for 4 percent of the state’s BRL 300 billion (USD 55.84 billion) GDP. But, as soon as you begin to go inland, the economy of Bahia changes dramatically, focused mainly on agribusiness and mining.

The agricultural sector has been the backbone of the Bahia economy since colonial times. In the year 1500, Portuguese navigators first set foot in Brazil at Porto Seguro, the...

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