(Changes to Trafigura in first paragraph from Trafigura AG which is a US subsidiary)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Swiss trading house Trafigura said on Wednesday it has agreed to buy two iron ore mines from MMX Sudeste Mineracao SA, the Brazilian mining firm run by fallen tycoon Eike Batista and under bankruptcy protection.
Trafigura did not give the price, but said in an email that under the deal, it would acquire the Tico-Tico and Ipe iron ore mining and processing assets, which have a capacity of about 6 million tonnes per year according to MMX’s website.
The move marks a further expansion into the iron ore mining business, beyond its traditional role as a trader of the commodity.
Trafigura also said the Porto Sudeste terminal in the state of Rio de Janeiro, which it controls with Abu Dhabi investment company Mubadala, made its first iron ore shipment this week after lengthy delays due to licensing issues.
MMX’s mines in the state of Minas Gerais are connected to Porto Sudeste by railway line. The miner filed for bankruptcy protection last year, following other units of Batista’s energy, shipbuilding and oil conglomerate that suffered a spectacular collapse due to missed targets and mounting debts.
Trafigura said a second shipment is scheduled for September.
Porto Sudeste has a current capacity to ship 25 million tonnes of iron ore per year. Trafigura expects this figure to rise to 50 million tonnes by the end of the year. (Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Marguerita Choy)