We manage the Bing Bong loading facility and the loading of concentrate onto the bulk carrier, MV Aburri. Carpentaria Shipping Services (CSS) operates the Aburri. CSS is a joint venture involving Indigenous Business Australia, P&O Maritime Services and a local indigenous enterprise, the Mawurli and Wirriwangkuma Aboriginal Association (MAWA).
The Aburri was designed specifically for our operations. Its dimensions are 79.95m by 18.5m with a draft of 3.5m and a capacity to carry 3,200 tonnes. It self-loads and discharges at an average of 900 to 1,000 tonnes per hour. The cargo capacity of each shipping consignment varies between 6,400 and 45,000 tonnes.
The bulk carrier was built to all applicable Northern Territory Marine and Australian Standards and has an International Lloyd's classification of '100 A1'.
Lighting of the wharf, Aburri and navigation channel enable 24-hour operations.
The Offshore Transfer Zone, where concentrate is transferred from the Aburri to ocean-going ships, is defined by a precise longitude and latitude and has an average depth at low tide of 14.75 m.
All stages of the loading and discharging operations are managed by computer process control systems and overseen by closed-circuit cameras.
Numerous safety procedures are in place to ensure the security of the concentrate against spillage including:
- an 'auto-dock' system to secure the Aburri in a set position against the wharf using a hydraulic claw and swing arm. This guarantees its precise location under the loading chute and ensures the concentrate is enclosed at all stages of the loading process. Controls on the conveyor only operate if the loading chute is securely in place
- preventative maintenance and inspection processes
- automatic shutdowns in case of a fault between the Aburri and the concentrate loader
- water containment and management to ensure small amounts of concentrate caught in the system (including the conveyor and the Aburri) can be hosed, collected and managed through the wharf sump and site run-off pond
- discharge procedures which take into consideration the prevailing weather conditions.