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Handling guide for copper concentrate in bulk

Although copper occurs naturally in a pure state, it’s primarily mined from the minerals chalcopyrite, bornite, and malachite. Copper ore is extracted form the earth, then converted into copper concentrate, which is then roasted, smelted and converted into refined copper.

The resultant metal is widely used for its high electrical and heat conductivity; its malleability; its ability to form alloys with other metals; and its resistance to corrosion. This last attribute is what makes copper so attractive for flashing on durable and long-lasting slate and tile roofs. Copper wire and cable, however, account for half of the world's copper production.

Chile is the world’s leading copper producer, producing about 37% of the world’s total. Every continent produces copper, yielding a worldwide total production of about 9 million short tons of copper each year. The four largest copper producing nations in order are Chile (37%), U.S. (8%), Indonesia (8%) and Peru (7%).

Handling of cargo

Cargoes which may liquefy (Group C)
Sphere-shaped pebbles 75% copper with lead, tin, zinc, traces of others. Moisture content 1.5% approximately. Light grey colour when dry, dark green when wet. Odour less.
Geared bulk carrier
Fig: Geared bulk carrier

Commodities that appear to be in a dry condition when loaded but may contain moisture in excess of their transportable moisture limit (tml) that might , due to the effects of compaction and vibration, cause the cargo to liquefy during the voyage.

This cargo may be self heating. Moisture content is critical. May liquefy. Relevant physical properties including moisture content must be checked prior to loading. Case have occurred where very considerable damage was caused to cereal and to coffee cargoes stowed in the same compartment as a parcel of copper concentrates, which, it was alleged, generate great heat causing discolouration, sweat and fume (taint) damage.

Trim in accordance with the relevant provisions required under section 4 and 5 of the Code As the density of the cargo is extremely high, the tank top may be overstressed unless the cargo is evenly spread across the tank top to equalize the weight distribution. Due consideration shall be paid to ensure that the tank top is not overstressed during voyage and during loading by a pile of the cargo.

Loading port: Caleta Coloso – Calao – Mazanillo Vancouver

Discharging port: Onahama – Hibie – Saganoseki

Insurance case (UK P and I club) Recommendations

We have been advised of two serious incidents involving cargo loaded at Bourgas, Bulgaria which we feel Members should be aware of.

The cargoes involved were Copper Concentrates and Barite (a mineral consisting of barium sulfate) concentrates. In the first case the cargo of copper concentrate liquefied and in rough weather the vessel capsized and sank shortly before arriving at the discharge port. In the second case, shortly after leaving Bourgas with the cargo of barytes on board, the ship had to deviate to a port of refuge due to an excessive list.

We understand in the case of the copper concentrate cargo, certification provided by shippers/producers left a lot to be desired in respect of details of flow point, moisture content, transportable moisture limit, stowage factor, angle of repose etc. In the case of the barytes no certificate at all was produced. We are further advised that it is possible that no sampling or testing was carried out at all during the storage period or before loading.

The practices at this port would appear to be in question. We would therefore recommend members advise their crews to be particularly vigilant and refer them to the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code) - Section 4: Assessment of acceptability of consignments for safe shipment (page 13) to which shippers/producers' attention should be drawn. If in any doubt Section 8: Cargoes which may liquefy (test procedures) (page 24) should be consulted and on board testing carried out

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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
It is vital to reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the ship's structure and also complying with all essential safety measures for a safe passage at sea. Our detail pages contain various bulk carrier related topics that might be useful for people working on board and those who working ashore in the terminal. For any remarks please Contact us

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