This article deals with the “discovery” of Brazilian iron ore from two perspectives. The first examines the increasing emphasis of the geosciences and their practical application and global reach since the second half of the nineteenth century. While in Brazil economic geology was integrated step by step into state institutions, at the global level it experienced its moment of triumph with the 11th International Geological Congress in 1910. The second deals with a specific social network with a decisive role in the race for Brazilian iron ore: with transnational experts juggling between the logic of the market and that of the academy. The article reveals the importance of local negotiations in the incorporation of the subsoil of Minas Gerais into the global space of mining.