(Adds details on iron ore volumes, information on ships waiting to load)
By Alberto Alerigi and Gustavo Bonato
SAO PAULO, April 19 (Reuters) - The loading of iron ore at Brazil’s Itaguaí terminal operated by mining and steel firm Companhia Siderúrgica Nacional has been halted since Saturday due to an accident, sources and the Itaguaí Port Authority told Reuters on Wednesday.
Four to five Capesize bulk carriers that were waiting to load iron ore at the terminal are being put back into the charter market, said a German shipping source, due to the impossibility to load the product in Brazil. CSN confirmed the accident but had no immediate information regarding Itaguaí operations.
CSN, through its subsidiary CSN Mineração, is Brazil’s second largest iron ore exporter after Vale SA and it produced 27.9 million tonnes of ore in 2015. The numbers for 2016 have not been released.
CSN did not give details of the accident or how it shut down loading operations but a company spokesman said two workers were hurt, although not seriously. He was not able to say when the terminal would resume operations.
The Itaguaí terminal, located near Rio de Janeiro, has a capacity to ship up to 42 million tonnes of iron ore per year.
Data from Thomson Reuters shows there is a ship from Tata Steel waiting to finish loading in the terminal with a destination of the United Kingdom. Another ship from JFE Steel is waiting since Thursday to berth in the terminal and load ore destined for Japan. (Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Bill Trott)