Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Ore Cargoes From Sierra Leone Seen Unsafe by Insurer

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:

(Corrects to say West African in second paragraph.)

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Iron-ore exports from Sierra Leone may be unsafe because the moisture content of the steel-making commodity is too high, creating the risk some shipments may liquefy during transit, the London P&I Club said.

There’s no equipment in the West African country that can sample cargoes to check whether they exceed international moisture limits for safe transport, the club, a ship owners’ association that provides protection and indemnity insurance, said by e-mail today.

“Ships are being offered iron-ore cargoes for loading in Sierra Leone which are unsafe,” the club said, citing cases received from Brookes Bell LLP, a marine consultant it hired. “Limited local expertise and technology, together with poor communications, are exacerbating the problems.”

Dry-bulk commodities with excessive moisture content can liquefy and turn to slurry during voyages, causing vessels to capsize. A total of 66 seafarers between December 2010 and February 2012 died after vessels sank after cargoes of nickel-ore liquefied, according to the London-based International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners.

Two shippers have resumed exports of iron ore after a 10-year civil war ended, the London Club said. Surveyors had to use the oven in the ship’s galley in one case to try and determine the moisture content of one cargo, it said.

China imported 609,136 metric tons of iron ore worth $64.4 million from Sierra Leone last month, according to Customs data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michelle Wiese Bockmann in London at mwiesebockma@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.