With over 135 years of experience in the provision of independent analysis and inspection services to the metals, minerals and solid fuels industry – we have a well-earned reputation for our knowledge and professionalism in all aspects of weighing, sampling and analysis.
Weighing & Sampling
Coordinated by our Group Technical Team, we combine in-depth knowledge of international quality standards with practical experience to carry out technical audits on weighing, sampling and sample preparation operations on behalf of our clients. This includes locations such as mine sites, loading and discharge port operations, warehouses and receiving works such as refineries, smelters and recycling plants.
Analysis & Testing
We operate a worldwide network of metal, mineral and solid fuel laboratories (many of which are ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and ISO 9001:2015 compliant). We are able to assist with more technically challenging analytical requirements.
Our services extend to conduction laboratory audits, personnel training, analytical support and laboratory management.
Transportable Moisture Limit
Solid bulk cargoes such as metal concentrates may appear to be in a relatively dry granular state when loaded, however they may still contain sufficient moisture to become fluid under the stimulus of the compaction and vibration that occurs during a voyage. The resulting cargo shift can be sufficient to capsize the vessel.
Cargoes that contain a certain proportion of small particles and a certain amount of moisture may liquefy when the moisture content exceeds the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML). In the resulting viscous fluid state, cargo may flow to one side of the ship with a roll one way but not completely return with a roll the other way, causing the ship to progressively reach a dangerous heel and capsize suddenly.
It is therefore vital to know before loading if the material is safe to transport by ship and to provide mariners transporting the cargo with an accurate TML and moisture content.
The TML is determined by sampling the cargo appropriately and applying one of the IMO approved test methods.
For many years, we have undertaken the determination of the TML of metal concentrates and other bulk bearing commodities such as iron ore. Throughout our Group network, there is a high level of expertise in conducting these tests. All analysts are trained to the highest standard, with the UK Group Headquarters operating a regular monitoring programme which ensures the maintenance of rigorous quality standards.
For over 30 years, we have been directly involved with and acted as a consultant towards improving this test. Throughout our Group laboratories, the flow table method has been developed following the IMSBC Code 2013 for solid bulk cargoes, including graphical validation.
Five of our worldwide locations now cover the scope of Flow Moisture Point /Transportable Moisture Limit testing for Solid Bulk Cargoes by all of the three industry recognised tests – Flow Table, Penetration and Proctor-Fagerberg.
We have developed expertise in these approved methods for compliance with the IMSBC code and the Proctor-Fagerberg method includes all IMO approved versions.
The ability to offer this service, utilising all three recognised methods, allows us to carry out specific testing that covers a broader range of particle sizes (for such commodities as mineral sulphide concentrates, iron ore, nickel ore, manganese ore and any other solid bulk commodities which may have flow properties). The ISO 12742:2007 method is available on request.
Mining Industry Support Services
Mining operations often choose to outsource the management of their site laboratory to a specialist service provider. At AHK, we support many of our mining clients this way, managing numerous mine site laboratories and load port service projects.
As part of our technical consultancy services, we offer a comprehensive range of mining industry support services, including:
- Management and development of mine-site laboratories for sample preparation and analysis
- Method development and documentation
- Equipment advice
- Personnel training
- Sample system design / implementation
- Load port services
We also support mine-site laboratory accreditation, including technical audits and bespoke laboratory software for use in analytical laboratories (LIMS).
With our worldwide network of laboratories, we can also provide off-site analytical support, where required, for applications such as product certification, party analysis, process control support and quality check analysis.