Physical and Mineralogical Impact of Copper Concentrate on Transportable Moisture Limit (TML)

Additonal authors: Saulters, R.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Garshasb, M.

The Transportable Moisture Limit (TML) is the copper concentrate moisture content beyond which liquefaction may occur during shipping. This study indicates that TML is a function of mineralogical characteristics of concentrate, which in turn may directly affect moisture retention properties. A comprehensive mineralogical and chemical analysis was conducted to determine the impact of composition and mineral content on concentrate’s TML. The analysis indicates that the high TML value is associated with particular minerals such as gypsum, swelling clay, muscovite and pyrite. Since higher TML values allow higher moisture contents for shipping, this property is desirable for concentrate inventory management and shipping flexibility. Scarcity of minerals that may increase TML contributes to limitations of shippable inventory. INTRODUCTION TML is the maximum moisture content of copper concentrate beyond which liquefaction may occur. Moisture content above the TML is considered a shipping hazard as it may result in loss of lives and cargo. The details of TML testing are given in ISO 12742:2007 (ISO 12742). In principle, TML is 90% of the Flow Moisture Point. The method of testing for Flow Moisture Point and TML is based on procedures that provide pulsations that simulate the cyclic force of ocean waves to determine moisture levels at which the onset of concentrate flow may occur. International Maritime Organization (IMO) provides guidelines for developing and approving TML testing and moisture determination in the context of its Moisture Management Plan (MMP) for shipment of copper concentrate cargoes (IMO 2013). The IMO regulations are specifically provided in MSC.1/Circ. 1454 “Guidelines for developing and approving procedures for sampling, testing and controlling the moisture content for solid bulk cargoes which may liquefy”. Since each port has its own operational characteristics, resource availability, peculiarities of governmental structure, and desired methods of interaction with the authorities, it is necessary to adopt the IMO guidelines to the local requirements. In order to establish a TML and MMP measurement system, it is required to implement and follow proper guidelines for the relevant procedures. For example, sampling procedures are developed in accordance of ISO 12743, “Copper, lead, zinc, and nickel concentrates – Sampling procedures for determination of metal and moisture content”. Moisture content of copper concentrate samples are determined in accordance with ISO 10251, “Copper, lead, zinc, and nickel concentrates – Determination of mass loss of bulk material on drying”. To assure strict adherence to the MMP procedures, the overall system needs to be integrated into the site QA/QC system, which would make them auditable and certified in accordance with standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 17025, and ISO 17020.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019