Zambia may, in future, have a new private railway linking it to Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo starting from Chingola, a northern city in Zambia’s copper region, the Southern Times newspaper reported.
The new 580-kilometre railway line, construction of which is due to begin before the end of the year, is the result of a partnership signed between the North Western Railway and the Grindrod Limited Group of South Africa for an estimated investment of US$1 billion.
Speaking recently in the international iPAD DRC Mining & Infrastructure (Indaba) conference, the Director-General of North Western Railways, Emoch Kavindele, said that the funds needed to build the line had already been raised and that construction should begin soon in order to be on schedule.
Kavindele also said that construction of the line should move quickly so that mining companies in Northern Zambia and service providers have quick and easy access to port facilities in order to be able to export their products.
This new line, once completed, will connect Zambia to Angola in the Jimbe region, and the first 290 kilometres will link Chingola to the Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila mines at an estimated cost of US$489 million.
The second phase, which will cost US$500 million, will connect directly to the Benguela railroad along the border between the two countries and open a direct corridor to the port of Lobito.
“The first trains will be transporting copper concentrate within 18 months,” Kavindele said, cited by the Southern Times. (macauhub/AO)