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10 ANSON ROAD IN 10 ANSON ROAD INTERNATIONAL PLAZA #20-06 SINGAPORE 079903 Tel: (65) 63243565 Fa TEL: (65) 63243565 FAX: (65) 62207626 EMAIL:management@century.com.sg Email:ma Registration NO: 200910884K CSM/CIRCULAR CIR/SFT/001

Sep 10th 2009

Safe Shipment of Nickel Ore

Nickel ores formed by intensive tropical weathering of olivine-rich ultramafic rocks such as dunite, peridotite and komatiite and their serpentinized derivatives, serpentinite which consist largely of the magnesium silicate serpentine and contains approx. 0,3% nickel. This initial nickel content is strongly enriched in the course of lateritization. Two kinds of ore have to be distinguished: Low grade nickel ore and High grade nickel ore, low grade typically contains up to 1.5% nickel, high grade typically contains up to 2.5% nickel. The ore is simply dug out of the ground, sorted for size, stored in stockpiles and then shipped. No further processing other than "solar drying", which is questionable in its efficacy, is involved. There are many islands in Indonesia from which this material is being shipped, mostly in very remote locations. Liquefaction and Sliding Failure have been used to describe the behavior of nickel ore during shipment under conditions of high moisture content. Sliding Failure involves the loss of shear strength when a critical moisture content is exceeded. The material will slide off the top of the stow to reside at lower regions of the cargo hold. Liquefaction involves the movement of the cargo at the bottom of the stow. Liquefaction occurs when water is lost from within the pores of the particles due to external force provided by the movement of the vessel. Bulk cargoes comprise of individual particles in contact, this contact generating forces that hold the particles together and provide the material with its strength. If the particles begin to lose contact with one another(due to the presence of water) the material will lose strength, and in extreme cases it will behave as a liquid(e.g. liquefaction). Liquefaction depends on both high moisture and the motion of the vessel. As the motion of the vessel will depend on the prevailing weather conditions, which cannot always be accurately predicted, the only way we can guarantee the safety of the vessel is by ensuring that the cargo is not too wet. This is why the Shippers Declaration is important. Its a requirement of SOLAS(Regulation 2, Part A, Chapter VI) that the Master be provided with the appropriate information to enable the cargo to be safely carried. This information needs to be provided prior to loading. In the case of cargoes that may liquefy, this information is to include moisture content and the Transportable Moisture Limit(TML). Extreme caution is required when dealing with shippers declaration for nickel ore. In particular, the moisture content declared may not related to the cargo being loaded. In order to comply with SOLAS and provide this information in advance of loading, the moisture content of the cargo needs to be established while constructing the stockpiles. This may not be done, or the

condition of the cargo may change during storage, particularly during heavy rain. It is not unknown for cargo to be loaded direct from the mine. The TML is 90% of FMP(Flow Moisture Point), the FMP is the percentage moisture content at which a flow state develops. For nickel ore, the FMP is normally measured by Flow Table Test. Can Test The can test involves approximately half filling a metal can (0.5-1 liter volume) with the nickel ore to be tested. The can and its contents are then raised and then brought down sharply to strike a hard surface from about 20 cm. This is repeated 25 times, and If free moisture or a fluid condition appears, arrangements should be made to have additional laboratory tests conducted on the material before it is accepted for loading.

Nickel Ore prior to can test

Appearance of Moisture on surface of Nickel ore

Role of Master on Safe Shipment of Nickel Ore. 1. Master should get below declaration from shipper prior to loading:(Refer to attached sample) ---Cargo moisture contents ---Cargo Transportable Moisture Limit(TML) Master must ensure cargo moisture contents is less than TML. 2. However, cargo documentation provided by shipper is often inadequate due to test methods and sample taken. Master should inspect the cargo on the barge. 1) The cargo on the barge should be examined for evidence of free water; refer to photo 1) 2) During loading the behavior of the cargo should be observed. Photo 2) shows nickel ore that liquefied when dropped from the grab into the cargo hold. 3) After the cargo loaded the holds should be inspected for evidence of free water settling out, refer to photo 3) 4) If the master has any concerns then Can Test should be carried out on site.

Photo 1)

Photo 2)

Photo 3)

3. If any clear evidence shows that the cargo is too wet, master should request shipper to change cargo on the barge. 4. Cargo hold bilge suction to be cleaned every voyage, ensure bilge water can be discharged if need. 5. All cargo bilge tanks to be sounded and recorded twice daily, chief officer should check records and investigate any abnormal figure.

Marine Safety Department