March 30, 2013 / 10:07 PM / 4 years ago

Fatal Brazil pier accident halts Anglo American iron ore shipments

BRASILIA, 30 Mar (Reuters) - The collapse of a river bank where a floating pier was moored has halted shipments by global miner Anglo American from its iron ore operation in Amapa state in Northern Brazil, the company said on Saturday.

The accident on Thursday night in the Port of Santana killed three workers whose bodies were recovered from the river by divers who continue searching for three others still missing, Anglo said in a statement.

The cause of the accident is being investigated, it said.

Anglo's iron ore production in Amapa was not interrupted, but shipments have been paralyzed and there is no forecast of when they can resume, a company spokesperson said.

Last year, Anglo produced 7.2 million tonnes of iron ore from Amapa's Pedra Branca do Amapari mine, 200 kms from Santana. The mine poduces pellet and sinter feed.

Anglo and joint venture partner Cliffs Natural Resources agreed in January to sell the Amapa iron ore operation to former commodities trader Pramod Agarwal's Zamin Ferrous for an undisclosed sum.

Anglo bought control of Amapa from Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's MMX in 2008, as part of the $5.5 billion Minas Rio acquisition. But Amapa was deemed non-core and put on the block last year as the miner streamlines its asset portfolio globally.

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