A company running ranches in Brazil has been fined US$2.9 million ($4.1 million) for keeping 180 of its workers in slavery on two of its properties, the country's High Labour Court announced yesterday.

The fine, against Lima Araujo AgrOpecuaria, was the biggest ever handed out in Brazil for the crime, the court said.

Among the 180 enslaved workers freed from the two ranches in the northern state of Para were nine adolescents and a child of 14 years, it said.