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Minas Gerais(mē`nəs zhərīs`) [Port.,=various mines], state (1996 pop. 16,660,691), 226,707 sq mi (587,171 sq km), E Brazil. The capital is Belo HorizonteBelo Horizonte
[Port.,=beautiful horizon], city (1996 pop. 2,091,770), capital of Minas Gerais state, E Brazil. The distribution and processing center of a rich agricultural and mining region, Belo Horizonte is the nucleus of a burgeoning industrial complex; its chief industries
..... Click the link for more information. . Minas Gerais continues to produce more than half of Brazil's mineral wealth. Gold was discovered at the end of the 17th cent. and was mined extensively. The state has long led the country in iron-ore mining and steel production. In the mid-1990s, Minas Gerais, with its low land and labor costs and inexpensive power, experienced the highest industrial growth in South America, making its economy in Brazil second only to São Paulo. Numerous expansion programs have been pursued in the automobile, mining, and manufacturing sectors. Agriculture and livestock also are important to the state's economy.
a state in southeastern Brazil. Area, 587,200 sq km; population, 11.5 million (1970). Administrative center, Belo Horizonte.
Minas Gerais is one of Brazil’s most economically developed and thickly settled states. Its economy is based on mining and ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy. Between 80 and 90 percent of the country’s gold and diamond mining and nearly all mining of iron ore, bauxite, and graphite are concentrated in Minas Gerais. Some two-fifths of Brazil’s steel, one-half of its metallic zinc, over three-fifths of its aluminum, three-quarters of its ferroalloys, and 100 percent of its nickel are produced there. Metal-working and machine-building, as well as the petrochemical, cement, textile, and food-processing industries, have been developed in Minas Gerais. Coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, citrus fruits, and cereal grains are grown. Livestock raising is carried on; in 1970 there were 21 million head of cattle.