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Subic Bay bans Vale iron ore transhipment during heavy rains

Subic Bay bans Vale iron ore transhipment during heavy rains
The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has suspended iron ore transhipment operations by Vale during heavy rains after local residents complained of pollution.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia told local media he had ordered the management of Vale, which operates two floating transfer stations (FTS) in Subic Bay, to stop transshipment during heavy rains to avoid spillage.

Vale have two transhipment stations in Subic Bay which transfer ore shipped from Brazil in giant ore carriers valemaxes into smaller vessels for re-export to China, as the 400,000 dwt valemaxes are banned from calling Chinese ports.

The spill was first reported on 25 July and according to SMBA was caused by excess iron ore being was off the decks of vessels during heavy rains. It was reported that Vale was to increase rain water collection tanks on its floating terminals.

“We have monitored the spill, which caused discoloration of the waters around the vessels, and by the third day, it has already dissipated,” Garcia said.

Photos posted on the “Stop Vale operations in Subic Bay now” Facebook page showed the water around vessels turned a rusty red colour.

Vale is expected to increase iron ore exports from Brazil by 22% in the second half of the year compared ot first six months of 2014.

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