SAPRO Mayoko (a Sapro Group subsidiary and the first iron ore producer and exporter in the Congo) and Thelo DB (a partnership company between Thelo Ventures (Pty) Limited and Deutsche Bahn represented by DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH), have signed an agreement of close to US$ 1.1bn for construction of a new 412km Mayoko to Pointe-Noire port railway in Congo in the southwestern region.
The agreement was signed by Paul Obambi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sapro Mayoko SA, and Ronny Ntouli, the CEO of Thelo DB, both of which welcomed the decision.
Expectations for the new rail
Stretching for 412km, the new Mayoko to Pointe-Noire port railway will be constructed within a span of five years after which it will help with the evacuation of about 12 million tonnes of iron per year in southwestern Congo, and as a result improve the activities of the Sapro Group subsidiary, which operates the Mayoko iron deposit.
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SAPRO Mayoko SA is the only company operating Congo’s iron mines in Mayoko, near the border with Gabon. It acquired the Mayoko iron deposit back in 2016 from the South African mining company, Exxaro DMC, with an initial production capacity of three million tonnes of iron per year.
The Congolese company has a long-term production target of 150 million tonnes per year.
Rehabilitation of Mayoko to Port of Pointe-Noire rail section
In addition to the construction of the new Mayoko to Pointe-Noire port railway section, part of this funding will be used for the rehabilitation of the old 182 km rail section from Mayoko to the Autonomous Port of Pointe-Noire (Le Port Autonome de Pointe – PAPN).
Reportedly, this old railway section due to numerous incidences where rail vehicle such as a train comes off its rails makes it difficult to transport iron from Mayoko to PAPN.