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Search Continues For Cargo Ship Carrying 260,000 Tns Of Iron Ore

Scorpio

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#1
Search Continues For Cargo Ship Carrying 260,000 Tns Of Iron Ore

Anna Golubova
Monday April 03, 2017 19:09

Kitco News

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South Korea’s vessel is believed to have sunk in the South Atlantic with 260,000 tonnes of iron ore on board. At least 22 out of 24 crew members are still unaccounted for.



The South Korean government is continuing its search efforts to locate the ship, known as The Stellar Daisy, which went missing over the weekend after making its last contact on Friday.

The search operations began on Saturday after the vessel’s crew dispatched a distress call, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quoted the country’s Foreign Ministry as saying.

The 266,000-ton vessel left Brazil on March 26 and was on its way to China to unload the iron ore for storage and blending.

Rescue crews are searching the area about 2,500km (1,500 miles) from shore, east of Uruguay. Brazilian and Uruguayan authorities are also helping out with the search efforts, while all other ships in the area are being asked to keep a lookout for survivors.

Two of the crew members were discovered on a life raft on Saturday, local media reported. All other lifeboats found floating in the area were empty.

The vessel was operated by South Korean company, Polaris, and had 16 Filipinos and eight South Korean crew members aboard. The sunken ship was the same size as 100 tennis courts.

The cargo on board the ship belonged to the Brazilian miner Vale SA, which said that the iron ore was insured, according to Reuters. Vale reportedly added that the contents of the vessel were properly stowed.

By Anna Golubova
For Kitco News

agolubova@kitco.com

www.kitco.com

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in precious metal products, commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

http://www.kitco.com/news/2017-04-0...go-Ship-Carrying-260-000-Tns-Of-Iron-Ore.html
 

GOLDBRIX

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#2
(FROM ARTICLE)"...Vale reportedly added that the contents of the vessel were properly stowed".
Well of course THEY would.
 

Garyw

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#7
I wonder if they have tried to drag Rare Earth Magnets on the bottom?
 

Goldhedge

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#8
Was there a storm out there? Ships don't just sink for no reason.
 

Joe King

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#9
Was there a storm out there? Ships don't just sink for no reason.
Rogue wave maybe?
...and supposedly there's been a couple hundred bulk carriers lost just since 1980. That's about one every two months.

By saying "at least" a couple hundred, makes it sound as though they don't even know exactly how many.
...and apparently one reason they are rarely investigated is because investigations of ship losses at sea are the responsibility of the nation whose flag said ship flies. So in a time that most ships fly the colors of nations like Panama, Cyprus, Liberia and other open registry nations, it's not too hard to see why most of them are not properly investigated so as to determine an exact cause. Typically, it's just chalked up to flooding.

Some interesting reading about ore carrier sinkings.
Inside the lethal world of bulk carriers

Edited to add: from the PDF:
Open registries are not eager to investigate the actions of their client companies and thereby risk driving away future business.
 
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Flight2gold

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#10
Cargo shift ?
Thus causing cracks in the hull or unbalancing and subsequent sinking.
That is some heavy stuff.
 

AgBar

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#15
First, my heart goes out to the crew and their families.

...but I do have to ask: is it really economical to ship iron ore all the way from Brazil to China? Does China not have its own local ore supplies? Or are they buying foreign and keeping their domestic supplies in reserve? (Honest questions. I have no idea.)
 

GOLDZILLA

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#17
Just need a big metal detector.
 

michael59

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#18
2004 and chins are hungry for scrap: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/13/b...l-keeps-us-scrap-dealers-scrounging.html?_r=0

and, you can figure this one out: http://www.scrapmonster.com/china-scrap-prices

And, yep..U gots me here also: http://www.scrapregister.com/scrap-prices/china/9

and, here is the wsj in 2015: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-big-business-of-u-s-scrap-takes-a-hit-1433669402

Oh hell here is a search page: https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search...0&p=comparitive+scrap+iron+purchases+of+china

What I do remember is, is that our scrap used to just pour into china boatload after boat load. There were no contracts or order as they were just buying it and using it. then things changed and the ships were hanging in the ocean at moor and the chin were/started offering pennnies to the pound. And, then it just quit.

So it would seem to me that they/chins are getting it where they can like a good ho and at, at what reduced price they can get it at. Darn, i sure hope that makes sense.
 

Flight2gold

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#21
The Chinese always seem to be hungry for boatloads of raw materials.
I don't think they can pull it out of the ground fast enough.
 

michael59

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#23
poor saps...bet some of them just got their cards....

It's a hell of a note when you leave port and just have the thing sink. I mean damm with a wooden ship you could have at least pulled a board loose; at leas tried.
 

Joe King

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#25
They lost their lives for what....260,000 tons of dirt? It doesn't seem fair!
That's just one of the risks of the job. Everyday, people somewhere die on the job. Unfortunately, that day was their turn.

May they rest in peace.
candle.gif



BTW, anyone know what a job like that pays?
 

Irons

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#32
I never knew nickel ferrous ore would liquefy but that is one of the thoughts in this ship going under.
Rogue wave maybe?
...and supposedly there's been a couple hundred bulk carriers lost just since 1980. That's about one every two months.
Ore carriers are like the fainting goats of the ship world. The bottoms of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior are littered with the feckers.

.
 
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searcher

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#33
MV STELLAR DAISY Loss Casts Shadow Over Fleet of Vale Iron-Ore Carriers

May 30, 2017 by Bloomberg



A VLOC belonging to South Korea’s Polaris Shipping. Photo credit: Polaris Shipping
By R.T. Watson (Bloomberg) — A second vessel contracted to haul iron ore for Brazilian miner Vale SA was delayed for repairs following the loss of a similar ship that mysteriously sank en route to China leaving 22 people presumed dead.

The Stellar Queen departed Vale’s port terminal in northeastern Brazil on May 7 carrying almost 300,000 metric tons of ore, according to the Rio de Janeiro-based company’s website. However, the ship then stayed anchored in a nearby bay for nearly three weeks after the commandant discovered cracking on the main deck and decided to delay the voyage until repairs could be made, the Maranhao state port authority said last week by email. The port authority finally authorized the ship’s departure on May 26.

Korean Register, the agency responsible for regularly surveying the Stellar Queen, said last week the ship underwent a survey and was being repaired in Brazil at the request of the owner. Vale declined to comment on the delays.

A third vessel carrying Vale iron ore, the Stellar Unicorn, was also forced to have repairs after a crack was discovered on the outer hull of a tank in April, its owner said at the time. That vessel was surveyed before moving on to China for discharge, according to Korean Register.

All three vessels are more than 20-year-old dry-bulk carriers owned and operated by Polaris Shipping Co. and all were converted from crude-oil tankers. Seoul-based Polaris didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Very Large Ore Carriers
The Stellar Daisy went missing about 1,700 miles (2,700 kilometers) off the coast of Uruguay while carrying 260,000 tons of Vale iron ore, Polaris said in a statement in April. All but two members of the crew are presumed dead. Polaris hasn’t officially said what caused the accident.

The Stellar ships are so-called Very Large Ore Carriers, or VLOCs, that were converted from crude-oil carriers. Polaris, which calls itself the largest VLOC company, said in April it had initiated an internal inspection of all 18 VLOC vessels in its fleet, and would subject each to an independent inspection.

“Polaris Shipping is fully committed to ensuring the safety of its VLOC converted fleet and their crews following the loss of the Stellar Daisy,” the company said on its website.

The press office from Vale, which also uses giant so-called Valemax ships to transport ore, said that investigations into the Stellar Daisy’s sinking are being conducted by the competent authorities.

‘Ripple Effect’
The conversion of single-hull crude carriers into VLOCs “was an attractive option as it extended the assets’ life by at least 10 years, especially during the mid- to late-2000s, when dry bulk rates were elevated,” according to BI senior analyst Lee Klaskow.

“A number of issues with Polaris Shipping’s fleet could have a ripple effect on dry bulk rates if not swiftly rectified,” Klaskow said in a May 14 note.

Polaris was reportedly planning an initial public offering this year, Klaskow said, but now “any offering will likely be pushed out until the issues facing its fleet are addressed.” The company didn’t respond to a request for comment on IPO plans.

The disappearance of the Stellar Daisy and news reports of inspections on other VLOCs has raised concern about similar ships.

“It’s my opinion that all converted VLOCs, regardless of owner, should not be used until a very thorough examination of all of these vessels in circulation is first completed,” Jeffrey Landsberg, a dry-bulk shipping researcher and consultant for Commodore Research, said last week by email.

© 2017 Bloomberg L.P

http://gcaptain.com/vloc-stellar-daisy-loss-casts-shadow-over-fleet-of-vale-iron-ore-carriers/
 

southfork

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#34
Pirates perhaps, ship unloaded then cut up for scrap , only 2 survivors, part of the coup perhaps.
 

searcher

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#35
Nickel Ore Liquefaction Eyed in Bulker Sinking Off Philippines; 11 Crew Members Missing

October 13, 2017 by Mike Schuler


MV Emerald Star. Photo: Stellar Ocean Transport

Eleven crew members of a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier are missing after their ship sank Friday off the coast of Philippines in what appears to be a possible case of nickel ore liquefaction.

The Japanese Coast Guard reported Friday it had received a distress call from the 57,000 dwt MV Emerald Star, which was sailing about 280 km east of the northern tip of the Philippines with a crew of 26 Indian nationals.

Three vessels in the area were able to rescue 15 crew members but 11 others are still reported as missing, the Coast Guard said, adding that the ship has sunk.

According to the S&P Global Platts, the Emerald Star was underway from Buli, Indonesia to Lianyungang, China with a cargo of nickel ore.


The MV Trans Summer sinks off the coast of Hong Kong during Typhoon Utor in August 2013. Photo: HKG Flying Service

Nickel ore, a high-risk Group A cargo in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code, is notoriously known to be highly susceptible to liquefaction, that is when a dry cargo becomes fluid (i.e. liquefies) typically when exposed to an excessive amount of moisture. Cargo liquefaction can lead to cargo shift and vessel stability issues, and in the worst case can cause a ship to capsize at a moments notice.

For this reason, nickel ore is often regarded as the world’s most dangerous cargo as dubbed by INTERCARGO, which represents the interests of dry cargo ship owners and operators.

Shipping nickel ore from Indonesia to China is known to be particularly risky. In fact, nickel ore liquefaction was cited as the cause of at least four vessel casualties and the loss of 66 seafarers in the trade from October 2010 to December of 2011. And in 2013, the phenomenon was blamed for the loss of the MV Trans Summer, which sank off the coast of Hong Kong while carrying 57,000 tons of nickel ore loaded in Indonesia.

The number of vessel casualties blamed on nickel ore liquefaction has fallen in recent years in part due to an export ban on nickel ore and bauxite from Indonesia, which was imposed in 2014 in order to boost Indonesia’s higher value smelting industries. Earlier this year, however, Indonesia introduced new rules to ease the 3-year export ban under certain conditions.

Following the easing of the ban, INTERCARGO issued a statement to its members in January 2017 warning them of the risks associated with these types of cargoes:

“We would urge Members exercise extreme caution should Indonesian ore exports re-enter the market; as the ban has been in place for some time it is most likely that many stockpiles will be subject to saturation and therefore the possibility of being offered cargoes with an unduly high moisture content may be anticipated. Furthermore, it is important to note that it has been reported specified shippers will be permitted to export washed bauxite, this form of processing of cargo was associated with a number of problems in the past and any such cargoes should carefully assessed prior to acceptance,” the statement said.

The 2010-built MV Emerald Star is registered in Hong Kong and operated by Stellar Ocean Transport of Dubai.

http://gcaptain.com/nickel-ore-liquefaction-eyed-in-emerald-star-bulker-sinking-off-philippines/
 

GOLDBRIX

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#36
Learn something new everyday - Liquefaction of ore especially nickel.
 

jiikoo

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#37
when exposed to an excessive amount of moisture. liquefaction can lead to cargo shift and vessel stability issues.

Nothing unusual.
 

GOLDBRIX

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#38
when exposed to an excessive amount of moisture. liquefaction can lead to cargo shift and vessel stability issues.

Nothing unusual.

It is unusual if you are not a mariner, merchant marine, or into shipping ore.