Ibirite | Brazil
Ibirité is located in the center of the state of Minas Gerais, at 20° 01' South and 44° 03' West. Is side by side with Belo Horizonte at Northeast, Betim at Northwest, Brumadinho at South, Contagem at North and Sarzedo at Southwest.
In the 1990s, it was installed in an industrial district, which houses companies from various branches. There are some industries that operate outside this district. The main sectors of production are: manufacture of articles for clothing, extraction of minerals, manufacture of parts for motor vehicles, manufacture of rubber and plastics, manufacture of machinery and equipment, manufacture of furniture, manufacture of food products and beverages, manufacturing of wood products, manufacture of textile products, manufacture of electrical machinery apparatus and equipment, manufacture of metal products.
Minas Gerais (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈminɐz ʒeˈɾajs]) is a state in the north of Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by gross domestic product (GDP), and the fourth largest by area in the country. The state's capital and largest city, Belo Horizonte, is a major urban and finance center in Latin America, and is the sixth largest municipality in Brazil, after the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Brasilia and Fortaleza, but its metropolitan area is the third largest in Brazil with just over 5,500,000 inhabitants, after those of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Minas Gerais is the state with the largest number of Brazilian presidents .
With an area of 586,528 square kilometres (226,460 sq mi)—larger than Metropolitan France—it is the fourth most extensive state in Brazil. The main producer of coffee and milk in the country, Minas Gerais is known for its heritage of architecture and colonial art in historical cities such as São João del Rei, Congonhas, Ouro Preto, Diamantina, Tiradentes and Mariana. In the south, the tourist points are the hydro mineral spas, such as Caxambu, Lambari, São Lourenço, Poços de Caldas, São Thomé das Letras, Monte Verde and the national parks of Caparaó and Canastra. The landscape of the State is marked by mountains, valleys, and large areas of fertile lands. In the Serra do Cipó, Sete Lagoas, Cordisburgo and Lagoa Santa, the caves and waterfalls are the attractions. Some of Brazil's most famous caverns are located there. In recent years, the state has emerged as one of the largest economic forces of Brazil, exploring its great economic potential.
Two interpretations are given for the origin of the name Minas Gerais. It comes from "Minas dos Matos Gerais", the former name of the colonial province ("Mines of the General Woods"). So a first and more common understanding affirms that the name simply means "General Mines", with the word Gerais serving as an adjective to the mines, which were themselves spread in several spots around a larger region. Another explanation is that this ignores the two large geographical spaces which conformed the state in its history: the region of the mines (Minas), and the region of the Gerais ("Matos Gerais" or "Campos Gerais", which means something close to "General Fields"). These corresponded to the areas of Sertão which were farther and hard to access (with an economy based on farming and agriculture) from the mining spots (whose economic space was urban from its origin ). The confusion comes from the fact that the term "Gerais" is taken as an adjective to "Minas" in the first version, although according to this point of view it refers to the region called Gerais (as a noun). A further complication is that this is not a well-defined area on the map of the state, but rather a designation to these parts outside the mining spots, more related to the geography of Sertão, and more isolated from the state's nucleus.
In the colonial era, the Brazilian interior was colonized by Portuguese and bandeirantes. The Brazilian gold rush ushered in an influx of new settlers in search of veins of gold (discovered 1693) and gems, and later diamonds which come from the naturally occurring itacolumite rock that can be found in great numbers in the region. These helped to boost occupation of the inner lands and led to the foundation of several new villages. In 1697, the Portuguese used enslaved African labor to start building the Estrada Real, the "royal road," that would connect the ports of cities of Rio de Janeiro and Paraty to the mineral-rich regions of Ouro Preto, Serro, and, at the northernmost point, Diamantina.
Prior to 1720, Minas Gerais was part of the captaincy of São Vicente (later renamed São Paulo e Minas de Ouro). The first capital of Minas Gerais, and seat of the local see, was the city of Mariana; it was later moved to Vila Rica. In the late 18th century, Vila Rica was the largest city in Brazil and one of the most populous in America. As the gold mines were exhausted over the 19th century, the city lost its importance; it was later renamed Ouro Preto and remained the state capital until the construction of the all-new, planned city of Belo Horizonte at the turn of the 20th century. The gold cycle left its mark in cities such as Mariana, Ouro Preto, Diamantina, Sabará, Tiradentes and São João del Rei. The relative isolation from European influence, added to the huge influx of gold and other valuable minerals, helped the local people to develop their own style of art, which became known as Barroco Mineiro. Prime examples of this period are the richly decorated churches in the colonial cities. The most important artist of this period was Antônio Francisco Lisboa, who became known as Aleijadinho. His sculptural and architectural work, as exhibited in the Twelve Prophets and The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi in Ouro Preto, are highly valued by experts as one of the most refined artistic expressions outside Europe at that time.
Due to the economic importance of the state and the particular traits of the local population—famed for its reserved and balanced character—Minas Gerais has also played an important role on national politics. During the 19th century, politicians such as José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva were instrumental in the establishment of the Brazilian Empire under the rule of Dom Pedro I and later his son, Dom Pedro II. After the installation of the Brazilian Republic, during the early 20th century, Minas Gerais shared the control of the national political scene with São Paulo in what became known as the "Coffee with Milk" (café com leite) political cycle (coffee being the major product of São Paulo, and milk representing Minas Gerais' dairy industry, despite the latter also being an important coffee producer).
Minas Gerais was also home to two of the most influential Brazilian politicians of the second half of the 20th century. Juscelino Kubitschek was president from 1956 to 1961, and he was responsible for the construction of Brasília as the new capital of Brazil. Tancredo Neves had an extensive political career that culminated with his election in 1984 to be the first civil president after the 1964 military countercoup. However, he died after a series of health complications just as he was about to assume the position. Also, Itamar, Brazil's previous president, lived there, though he was not born in Minas.
See also the List of Governors of Minas Gerais.