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Royal IHC readies new mining cutter suction dredger for Kenmare’s Moma mine

Royal IHC says it has launched a mining cutter suction dredger (CSD) for Kenmare Resources’ Moma titanium mine in Mozambique.

The launch occurred on May 20, with the naming ceremony taking place on May 24. During the ceremony, held at IHC’s shipyard in Kinderdijk, the vessel was named JULIA.

The new custom-built dredger will operate at Kenmare’s Wet Concentrator Plant C project at Moma, according to IHC. It is the third dredger in Kenmare’s operation that was designed and built by IHC.

The design of JULIA was based on the success of the first two IHC dredgers in Kenmare’s fleet, MARY-ANN and CATARINA. IHC used the more than 10 years of operational experience the two vessels have had at Moma, plus its extensive knowledge of dredging technology, to update and improve the latest vessel, it said.

“Among the improvements are an increased cutter power and monitor pump power, both to ensure a high production performance of the dredger at Moma,” IHC said. JULIA is expected to operate at 600 t/h with the potential to be upgraded to 1,500 t/h in the future.

The vessel will be finalised and tested at IHC’s yard in Kinderdijk, before disassembly for transportation to Mozambique, where production is expected to start before the end of 2019, IHC said.

Royal IHC’s Managing Director of Mining & Tunnelling, Hans Greve, said: “We are very proud to celebrate the latest result of our long relationship with Kenmare with the delivery of the CSD JULIA. This vessel is the result of our close collaboration and sets a new benchmark for the mining industry.”

Kenmare Chief Operations Officer, Ben Baxter, added: “Kenmare is one of the world’s leading titanium feedstock producers and the addition of the Julia dredger will contribute to the company’s strategy of increasing production by more than 20% from 2021. Through the collaborative design and build process between Kenmare and Royal IHC, this best-in-class, bespoke dredger will deliver additional tonnage, while reducing unit costs.”