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Web alert: Loading Iron Ore from Sierra Leone

24 September 2014

The club continues to see variability of flow moisture point (FMP) values in iron ore in West Africa. Some cargoes are susceptible to moisture migration and owners should be vigilant and be aware that parcels of cargo presented for loading could be above the transportable moisture limit (TML) or even the FMP. There have been occasions where the FMP/TML from hold sampling has been found to be significantly different to that presented in the moisture certificate. The cause(s) for such differences have not yet been identified therefore additional caution should be exercised.
It is recommended to appoint a  surveyor to assist the Master during loading, and can testing should be carried out as per section 8.4 of the 2013 IMSBC Code. The certificate of TML should be within six months of the date of loading the cargo. The Master should monitor the cargo during the voyage as an added precautionary measure and look for signs of movement or expression of free water on the cargo surface not to be confused with seepage. During the voyage the Master should pump the bilges as necessary.

The attached Standard Cargo provides futher information. In case of doubt contact the club to seek advice.