Locals and visitors to Karumba may have noticed that MMG Century’s transfer vessel, used to transport concentrates from the mine’s port facility in Karumba to export ships in the Gulf of Carpentaria, has recently been replaced by a slightly smaller look-alike vessel.
That’s because MMG Century’s own 5,000 tonne transfer vessel, the MV Wunma, is currently in Singapore for its routine dry-dock maintenance service. The MV Wunma’s sister ship, the Aburri, has been brought in to take its place.
The MV Wunma departed for Singapore on 4 August and is expected to return to Karumba to resume transfer activities in mid-September 2009.
Specially designed to navigate the shallow waters of the Norman River, the MV Wunma goes into dry-dock every five years as part of its regular maintenance schedule. During its service, engineers will carry out repairs to the vessel’s structure, conveyors and gantries as well as checking all the underwater marine components including the propellers, shafts and bearings.
This is the third time that the Aburri has carried out MMG Century’s shipping activities while the MV Wunma is unavailable.
MMG Century’s Port Operations Manager Greg Scanlan has asked visitors to Karumba to continue to practice a few simple safety precautions around the transfer vessel and port facility.
“We launched our MV Wunma Safety Campaign in April and are incredibly grateful for the support that most people have shown in following our advertised precautions.
“While the Aburri is a smaller vessel, we ask that people continue to stay at least 50 metres from the MMG wharf and at least 25 metres from the vessel herself, as they would with the MV Wunma.
“We also ask that, for safety reasons, light vessels do not anchor in the Norman River “transit” channel while either the Wunma or the Aburri is transiting the channel. This is because neither vessel is able to turn out of the channel or stop to avoid collision.
“Once again, I would like to thank locals and visitors for taking note of these precautions, which help keep our crews safe and ensure that they can fully enjoy their time in the Gulf.”
Pronounced ‘Wood-MA’, the name Wunma means “storm bird” in the Lardil language of Mornington Island. It takes about 12 hours for the vessel to load, transport and discharge parcels of mineral concentrate to awaiting export ships – about one shipload of concentrate leaves Gulf waters each week.
MMG’s Century mine transfers its concentrates via a 304 kilometre underground slurry pipeline to its port facility in Karumba where it is dried, stored and then transferred to export ships in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
For further information:
Sally Cox, Communications Manager
T: 61 3 9288 0850 E firstname.lastname@example.org