By Stephen Eisenhammer, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – MMX, the mining part of the industrial conglomerate EBX owned by Brazil’s richest man, Eike Batista, is entering the final phase of construction of its iron ore export port in Itaguai, on the Sepetiba bay in the state of Rio de Janeiro, 75 km southwest of the city.
The port, dubbed the Sudeste Superport, is due to start operations at the beginning of 2013, shipping an expected twelve million tons of iron ore in its first year. The port’s total capacity is fifty million tons, with the option of being expanded to 100 million tons.
The new port will export iron ore from MMX’s mines in the state of Minas Gerais. The growth of Batista’s mining company has so far been restricted by its limited export capacity.
The Sudeste Superport will change this, making MMX one of Brazil’s leading and most influential mining companies. The company has already suggested that it aims to sign contracts with other miners for the use of the port.
The Sepetiba bay is a busy export area which is already home to ports belonging to Vale, Petrobras, and CSN. With its proximity to the mining center of Minas Gerais, this large and protected bay is uniquely positioned for iron ore export. Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of iron ore behind Australia.
This joins the Superporto do Açu, a US$1.6 billion project developed by LLX, a logistics company owned by Batista as well, in São João da Barra, the north of Rio State.
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.