A Congolese mining company has signed a $1.1bn deal with German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and a South African investment company to build a railway between the Atlantic port of Pointe-Noire and the Mayoko iron ore mine.
Iron ore mining company Sapro Group concluded the deal with Thelo DB, a joint venture between Thelo Ventures and Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting, reports Journal de Brazza.
The agreement was signed in Brazzaville on Friday by Paul Obambi, chief executive of Sapro Mayoko, and Ronny Ntouli, the chief executive of Thelo DB.
The plan is to build a 412km rail link to export around 12 million tonnes of iron ore a year. The ore will be mined in the Mayoko deposit, which is thought to contain about 580 million tonnes of the mineral.
Sapro bought Mayoko in 2016 from South African mining company Exxaro DMC, with an initial production of 3 million tonnes of haematite a year. The Congolese company plans eventually to increase this to 150 million tonnes.
Part of the funding will be used for the rehabilitation of a 182km section of a dilapidated colonial-era line to Pointe-Noire.
Pointe-Noire is the Democratic Republic of Congo’s second city after Brazzaville, and the country’s main commercial centre.
The project is expected to take five years to complete.