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BRASILIA, Oct 22 (Reuters) - A Brazilian court has approved a bankruptcy protection petition filed by MMX Sudeste Mineracao SA, an iron-ore mining company controlled by Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista, the company said on Wednesday in a securities filing.
It was the third time in a year that a unit of the former billionaire's EBX industrial group has sought protection from creditors. The decision was taken by a court in Belo Horizonte in the Minas Gerais state.
MMX Sudeste made the request after negotiations with creditors and efforts to seek new investors failed, MMX said in a filing on Oct. 15.
MMX Sudeste holds nearly all the significant assets of Batista's MMX Mineracao e Metalicos SA, part of an EBX mining, oil, energy, shipbuilding and port group that suffered a spectacular collapse in 2013.
The MMX Sudeste petition will probably determine if parent MMX can continue as a viable company. Delays in developing MMX iron ore mines in Minas Gerais and an iron ore terminal near Rio de Janeiro have crimped MMX revenue while increasing debt.
The move comes as a decade-long commodities boom ends. The price of iron ore .IO62-CNI=SI has fallen to around its lowest level in five years as China's economy weakens and demand for minerals drops. (Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Diane Craft)