Diamond and metals explorer Tsodilo Resources is enthused about the completion of the final feasibility study (FFS) for the Trans-Zambezi Railway extension project between the towns of Grootfontein, Rundu and Katima Mulilo in Namibia.
Tsodilo chairperson and CEO James Bruchs says the proposed rail extension is an important development for the company, as it opens up a proximate rail transportation system for the delivery of its xaudum iron formation project’s potential iron products, such as iron concentrate, iron pellets, potential direct reduced iron products and ferrosilicone.
“The key conclusion of the assignment is that the proposed 772 km greenfield line is viable from a technical, environmental, legal, financial and economic standpoint and should move forward,” he adds.
The study considered the construction of the Trans-Zambezi Railway extension from Grootfontein to Katima Mulilo through Rundu and is part of a multinational railway line between Namibia and Zambia through the Zambezi region.
The proposed rail extension between Grootfontein and Katima Mulilo is significant as the extension is planned to pass through Divundu in Namibia, which is located 35 km from Tsodilo’s licence area in Northern Botswana, thereby providing easier access to logistics channels.
The FFS, submitted to the Ministry of Works and Transport of Namibia, was conducted by Canada-based M R Technofin Consultants and co-funded by the government of Namibia and the African Development Bank.
The cross-border rail project aims to link new mines and mining activities to the railway network along the Walvis Bay – Ndola – Lubumbashi Development Corridor to enable transportation of minerals from the Copperbelt region to Walvis Bay.
This corridor is positioned to service the two-way trade between the Southern Africa Development Community region and Europe, North and South America and emerging markets in the East.