A Gard Member recently experienced an incident of cargo failure involving Bauxite loaded in Guyana. In light of the situation, the club issued its recommednations on bauxite cargo.
According to Gard Club, shipowners are advised to consider the following when loading bauxite in Guyana:
- Bauxite that is primarily a fine-particulate composition (appearance similar to a silty sand) should be assumed to be Group A unless proven otherwise by independent testing and reflected as such in the cargo declaration.
- Group A cargoes must be accompanied by a TML and moisture content test certificate that should reference the specific IMSBC Code test method and/or ISO standard employed.
- Moisture content must be tested within seven days of loading or any time there is a change in moisture condition such as rain.
- Sampling and testing for moisture content must be representative of the cargo as a whole and declared as an average of the cargo. Any variability in the composition of the cargo, finer and/or wetter portions for example, should be sampled and tested for moisture content separately and clearly documented on the Shipper’s Declaration on a hold-by-hold basis.
- Any anomalies in the cargo declarations and test certificates should be questioned and brought to the attention of the Club. Red flags include fine particles cargo declared as Group C, Group C cargo with a TML listed, and moisture certificates dated more than seven days before loading.
- The cargo should not be loaded during rain and hatch covers should be closed during rain waiting periods if partially loaded.
- Certain bauxites, such as the low grade washed by-product fines in Guyana, retain moisture remarkably well when increasingly saturated. This means that when a can test is performed on moist material there may be no free moisture visible. This is not a sign the cargo is safe to load.
Gard encourages its Members to have a low threshold for contacting the Club if they are fixed or are considering fixing a bauxite cargo from Guyana, and alert the Club if there are any signs of misdeclaration, fine grained or overly wet cargo. Owners should use caution and be familiar with the IMSBC Code requirements and loss prevention materials.
…the club concluded.
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