Brazil has been a major but intermittent producer of gold since its discovery in 1500. Brazil led the world in gold production during the 18th and early 19th centuries. From the late 19th century to the late 20th century, total mining company and garimpeiro production was small and relatively constant at about 5 to 8 t/year. The discovery of alluvial deposits in the Amazon by garimpeiros in the 1970s and the opening of eight mines by mining companies from 1983 to 1990 fueled a major boom in Brazil's gold production, exceeding 100 t/year in 1988 and 1989. However, garimpeiro alluvial production decreased 'rapidly in the 1990s, to about 10 t/year by 1999. Company production increased about tenfold from about 4 t/year in 1982 to 40 t in 1992. Production from 1992 to the present remained relatively stable, even though several mines were closed or were in the process of closing and no new major mines were put into production during that period. Based on their production history from 1982-1999, 17 gold mines are ranked as major (> 20 t) and minor (3-8 t) mines. From 1982-1999, deposits hosted in Archean rocks produced 66% of the gold in Brazil, whereas deposits in Paleoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic rocks accounted for 19% and 15%, respectively. Deposits in metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, especially carbonate-rich rocks and carbonate iron-formation, yielded the great bulk of the gold. Deposits in igneous rocks were of much less importance. The Archean and Paleoproterozoic terranes of Brazil largely lack base-metal-rich volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits, porphyry deposits, and polymetallic veins and sedimentary exhalative deposits. An exception to this is in the Caraja??s Mineral Province.