Saturday, 14 June 2008

Iron Ore Loader

Here are some photos of the Bong Mining Company's iron-ore loader on the Mano River Pier in the Freeport of Monrovia, which we can see from our window. The first photo was taken in 1984 and shows the loader operational. Via a system of converor belts it could pour thousands of tons of iron-ore pellets each hour from the Bong Mines railway trains in waiting bulk carriers.
The second photo shows the same loader in 2006, sixteen years after the loader and the Bong Mines were abandoned due to the war. The converor belts have all been removed, but the loader remains almost intact.
The third photo shows the same loader today. Nearly a year of concentrated daylight metal stripping has taken place, and only the main structure remains. The scrappers use only hacksaws to cut off nuts and bolts holding the structure together, then the steel is tied to sacks of polystyrene and lowered into the sea, where it is floated to shore to be sold. Beyond the pier and to the right, you can see the mast of one of the Freeports 16 sunken ships sticking out of the water. In the far distance is another pier, and the remains of an even larger iron-ore loader awaiting it's fate. Olly

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