Ausenco was engaged to develop a simulation model of the barge transshipment system for London Mining's Marampa Iron Ore Project in Sierra Leone using our proprietary simulation modelling software.
Our simulation model was used to determine the optimal equipment requirements, consisting of tugs, barges and assist boats.
Barges are loaded at the Tawfayim port using tidal assistance, which means that at the time of loading the load level is determined based on the changing tides and currents that will be encountered on the trip downstream.
Depending on the minimum water depth, the barge is loaded with an amount of iron ore chosen to ensure an underkeel clearance of 0.5 m is maintained during the trip.
Tugs tow the barges to the transshipment port 79 km from Tawfayim, where the shiploader is choke-fed barges to maintain a consistent gross loading rate. Capesize vessels are loaded by a single floating crane.