Brazil's top investment bank Banco BTG Pactual on Thursday announced a tie-up with Roger Agnelli, former head of mining giant Vale, to invest up to $520 million in Latin America and Africa.
BTG said the alliance between billionaire Andre Esteves's BTG Pactual and Agnelli's investment company AGN will explore "investment opportunities in the mining sector with a focus on Brazil, Latin America and Africa."
The 50/50 partnership aims to field investments of up to $520 million (427 million euros).
The new B&A company is scheduled to start operations within two months in the aim of beginning copper production around 2014 in Chile.
However, B&A executives told reporters there were as yet no concrete projects for Brazil, Africa and other Latin American countries.
They also expressed confidence that Asian economies would continue to grow and thus boost the commodity market.
"The natural resources sector will continue to be extremely promising for many years," said Agnelli, the new company's chairman.
"We believe in Latin America and Africa's enormous natural wealth potential," he added, pledging to develop "an innovative and environmentally sustainable mining company with a social commitment to nearby communities."
"The market is big and there are many opportunities," said Carlos Fonseca, ae BTG Pactual official.
B&A officials also said they were keen to tap iron ore and infrastructure opportunities in Africa, as well as to launch fertilizer projects in Brazil.
"There are still many resources that have not yet been discovered in Africa. It's a question of time and the world needs Africa," Agnelli said.
In May, BTG Pactual launched a $1 billion Africa investment fund, the biggest in the world, with capital collected in this country.
And in late April, BTG Pactual made its trading debut on the Sao Paulo bourse, following an initial public offering that raised 3.65 billion real ($1.92 billion) through the sale of 117 million units.
Esteves, who has a net worth of $3 billion, according to Forbes magazine, has turned BTG Pactual into Brazil's top investment bank, with over $61 billion in its asset management group and $21 billion in its wealth management unit.
Agnelli stepped down last year as CEO of Vale, the world's top iron producer, and set up AGN to invest in energy, logistics and mining.