417 - 06/05 - Nickel Ore Cargoes Loaded at Tanjung Buli,
As specified in Sections 7 and 8 and Appendix A of the IMO Bulk Code, many mineral cargoes which contain moisture and at least a proportion of small particles are liable to liquefy during ocean transport, if loaded over-moist, and may severely impair ship's stability. Liquefaction of bulk cargoes has led to a considerable number of total losses in the past. In order to prevent these hazards, the IMO Bulk Code requires such cargoes to be tested and their flow properties to be certified by shippers prior to loading.
The test methods specified by the IMO Bulk Code are unsuitable for cargoes that contain lumps greater than 25mm in size. As the nickel ore from Halmahera Island contains larger lumps, its flow properties cannot be evaluated accurately using IMO-approved test methods.
In apparent compliance with the IMO Bulk Code, the Indonesian shippers of the subject cargoes have in the past declared the material as being liable to liquefy and to possess a transportable moisture limit in excess of the actual moisture content at the time of shipping. However, because of the lumpy consistency of the material it is thought that the test certificates produced by shippers do not accurately describe the properties of the material.
At present, the flow properties of these nickel ore cargoes are under active investigation to establish the potential hazards involved in their carriage. Until the outcome of these investigations is known, members are advised to exercise caution when fixing Indonesian nickel ore. Attention is drawn to the IMO Bulk Code, in particular Sections 4, 7 and 8 and Appendix A. Members are advised not to rely solely on the certification produced by shippers when assessing the safety of these cargoes.
Source of information:
5629 - Bulletin 417 (25 KB)