Brazilian energy group Cosan has agreed to form a joint venture (JV) with Grupo Paulo Brito, the founder and controller of mining firm Aura Minerals, to explore and transport iron ore.

The move marks Cosan’s foray into the mining industry.

According to the agreement, Cosan’s subsidiary Atlântico will own 37% of the total equity in the new mining JV and acquire TUP Porto São Luís for $134m (R$720m).

Located in Maranhão, the TUP Porto São Luís terminal is owned by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) unit São Luís Port Company and other minority shareholders.

Subject to completion of the transaction, the ownership of the port will be transferred to the JV. The port will be used to transport iron ore.

The mining JV, which will be an integrated mining and logistics company, will also hold exploration rights for mining assets in three mineral projects in northern state of Para, near Paraupebas.

The JV plans to commission its first mineral project in 2025. This project is located near Paraupebas-PA and connected to the port via the Carajás railway.

In a press statement, Cosan said: “Exploration activities will comply with the highest environmental and safety standards, in line with our sustainable capital allocation commitments and supported by the ‘EESG’ principles of Cosan Group.”

Cosan said that the JV forms part of its investments plan into new areas via a newly launched investment fund, which will use Cosan’s capital, as well as third parties.