Watch 400,000-tonne ore carrier sink to the bottom of the ocean

Credit: Portogente videos (Warning: Video contains profanity)

The Brazilian Navy is monitoring the location of the ore carrier Stella Banner that sunk Friday off the coast of Maranhão.

On Friday morning, salvors sent the $110 million ship to the bottom of the ocean off the coast, just four years after its construction.

The ship ran aground approximately 100km from coast of São Luís on February 24, 2020 as it departed Vale’s Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal with 275,000 tons of iron ore for China. 

All 20 crew members were subsequently evacuated in good condition. 

Before the sinking operation, the salvage team removed about 3,900 cubic meters of fuel oil and about 140,000 tonnes of iron ore from the Stellar Banner’s holds.

Salvors successfully refloated the Stellar Banner on June 3, but the vessel was declared a total loss, and its owner – South Korean firm Polaris Shipping – proposed to dispose of her by scuttling.

According to the Brazilian Navy, the remaining amount of cargo on board is not a threat to the environment.

Vale’s massive dry bulk carriers – dubbed Valemax – were designed to service China, where some 45% of the Brazilian company’s ore exports are destined.

Vale’s 362-metre-long and 65 metre wide vessels can carry 400,000 dead-weight tonnes of iron ore.