PORT OF BING BONG,
McArthur River Mine
STS were engaged to provide a solution to a new export project of Lead-Zinc Concentrate in the Northern Territory, Australia. The solution required a shallow transhipper vessel to minimize dredging, as well as high manoeuvrability characteristics for reduce turn around time in the port and at the export ship.
Lead Zinc Concentrate is comparatively harder to work with compared to other commodities, due to its high toxic and corrosive properties as well as very high angles of repose because of its ‘sticky’ nature. This required a re-think of the conventional gravity fed transhippers, which would not work for such a product, so instead STS used the ‘miners tool of choice’ and installed a positive displacement reclaimer system – bucketwheel. The shallow draft, 80m LOA, 3300DWT “MV Aburri” was also designed to be self-loading which meant she required a very simple fixed loading boom on the shoreside and no vessel warping required. STS also designed and installed hydraulic grabs to eliminate the needs for mooring lines to secure the vessel alongside the berth, this also reduced the need for shore crew and costs.
McArthur River Mining Pty Ltd (MRM) began exporting Lead Zinc Concentrate through its port of Bing Bong, Northern Territory in 1995. The Lead Zinc Concentrate is transported from the mine to the port of Bing Bong loading facility by road. From there it is loaded onto the STS Transhipper and transported to waiting Panamax ships at sea in the Gulf of Carpentaria.