Pan-African Minerals to build Burkina Faso rail line to transport manganese

4 August 2014 (Last Updated August 4th, 2014 04:50)

Pan-African Minerals has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French company Bollore for the development of a $895m rail project to serve its $1bn manganese mine at Tambao in Burkina Faso.

Pan-African Minerals has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French company Bollore for the development of a $895m rail project to serve its $1bn manganese mine at Tambao in Burkina Faso.

The company will contribute $360m for the construction of a 300km section of the line connecting Tambao in the Oudalan province to Kaya town in the Sanmatenga province.

The Tambao-Kaya section will be part of a larger line being built between the Nigerien capital, Niamey, and the Ivory Coast capital, Abidjan.

Bollore is the strategic partner for the proposed larger line project, which is expected to commence construction later this year and take seven years.

"This will increase capacity and enable the shipment of the manganese and also two million tonnes of merchandise and about two million passengers."

A deal has been signed separately between the governments of Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso for the development of the Abijan-Kaya-Tambao railway line.

Bollore Africa Logistics head Philippe Labonne told Reuters: "This will increase capacity and enable the shipment of the manganese and also two million tonnes of merchandise and about two million passengers."

In May, Burkina Faso gave its approval to Pan-African Minerals' manganese mine, which is estimated to contain more than 100 million tonnes of the mineral and will produce three million tonnes a year.

Under the MoU, Bollore will spend around $535.6m to reconstruct the 1,250km railway line. Construction work on the line will begin in August.

Pan-African Minerals CEO Alan Watling said: "The construction of the line will be done over the next three years. It will cost about XOF176bn ($359.32m)."

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