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ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO MAKE STEEL AND BENEFIT LIVES
                                       Usiminas is recognized
                                        in Brazil and abroad

Belo Horizonte, October 17, 2003 ­ Usinas Siderúrgicas de Minas Gerais S/A -
Usiminas (BOVESPA: USIM3, USIM5,
USIM6; OTC: USNZY), leader in the production of flat steel in Brazil and one
of the largest steelmaking complexes in the
world, this week received important recognition from the Brazilian and
international communities for its excellence in social
responsibility and in investor relations.

The Company was awarded with the Grand Prize in the third edition of the Valor
Social Award in the popular vote category. In
line with its corporate culture, over the years Usiminas has developed a
management model in which achievement of business
results involves more than just making the right technical decisions. It is
also a consequence of actions oriented towards social
responsibility and corporate environment, which have an impact on all
stakeholders.

The Valor Social Award is an initiative of the Jornal Valor Econômico with the
support from the Ethos Institute for Corporations
and Social Responsibility and the Akatu Institute for Consumer Consciousness. Its
objective is to promote and disseminate
corporate social practices by means of public recognition of corporate programs
that serve as examples to inspire similar
actions by other companies.

In addition, in the area of investor relations (IR), Usiminas was shortlisted
as one of the three finalists in IR Magazine's 2003
Latin America Awards in the "Best Investor Relations by a Brazilian Company ­
Small and Mid Cap" and in the "Grand Prix for
Best Overall Investor Relations ­ Small Cap" categories. The event is widely
recognized as the main international awards
venue in the IR area. Its results are determined by a meticulous survey of more
than 200 portfolio managers and investment
analysts who cover Latin American capital markets and effectively are opinion
makers in the financial community.

The distinctions given to Usiminas validate the advances of the Company's
strategy for activities in steel production and trade,
its performance in the areas of health, education, culture and environment,
in the improvement in its workforce and in
corporate management, notably in its financial aspects.

In this context, the Usiminas investor relations program has gained in importance