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South African diversified miner Exxaro will upgrade a railway line in the Republic of Congo to transport at least 10 million tonnes a year by 2016 as it moves to exploit its recently acquired Myoko iron ore project, an official said on Tuesday.

The French-built railway, constructed in 1931, currently has a capacity of some 5 million tonnes but needs to be repaired and upgraded in certain sections, said Ernst Venter, executive general manager for business development at Exxaro.

Exxaro, which bought Myoko from African Iron, is also mulling building a new harbour and a power plant at the mine, which has an upside potential of 2.5 billion tonnes of iron ore, said Venter.

“The decision will probably be to look at Indienne to establish a port which can at least treat this 10 million tonnes,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of an African iron ore conference.

The small town of Indienne lies north of a deep-water port at Pointe Noire on the Atlantic coast.

Venter said Exxaro would probably opt for Indienne as a location as it may be too difficult to convert Pointe Noire, used mainly as a container port, into a bulk iron ore exporting terminal.

Exxaro plans to start production at Myoko in 2013, producing between 200,000 tonnes to 2 million tonnes of iron ore per year, he added.

Venter said Exxaro, one of South Africa's largest coal exporters, may build a power plant at Myoko through its Cennergi joint venture with Tata Power, but would need to sign offtake deals with other customers for at least 100 megawatts to make the project economically viable.

“It needs to supply power to the mine but we need a few big anchor customers,” Venter said. - Reuters
June 5 2012 at 02:56pm
By Reuters
 

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Exxaro, Tata Venture Considering Congo Hydroelectric Plant
By Robert Brand - Jun 5, 2012 4:53 PM GMT

Cennergi Pty Ltd., a joint venture between Tata Power Co. (TPWR) and Exxaro Resources Ltd. (EXX), may build a hydroelectric plant in the Republic of Congo to supply power to Exxaro’s Mayoko iron-ore project.

Exxaro, South Africa’s second-largest coal company, plans to boost profitability by expanding into iron ore at the Mayoko project, which has the potential to yield as much as 2.5 billion tons of ore, said Ernst Venter, Exxaro’s general manager for business growth. Infrastructure such as railways, harbor facilities and power is needed to develop the project, which is expected to start production in 2013, Venter said.

“The potential is there” for a hydropower plant in Congo, Venter said in an interview at an iron-ore conference in Cape Town. “We’re in the business of iron-ore mining, but we have to enable that.”

Republic of Congo, sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-biggest oil producer, experienced a civil war from 1997 to 1999 that left at least 10,000 people dead, forced 800,000 people to flee their homes, and damaged infrastructure. Pretoria-based Exxaro is speeding up development of the Mayoko project after a failed bid for Territory Resources Ltd. in 2011.

Exxaro gained 2.2 percent to 193.25 rand at the close in Johannesburg, compared with the 0.1 percent advance of the FTSE/JSE Africa All Share Index. (JALSH)
Wind-Power Plant Bids

Cennergi, based in Pretoria, had bids for two wind-power plants, including one to generate 139 megawatts, approved by South Africa’s government this year and has submitted bids to generate hydroelectric power under the nation’s renewable-energy program, Venter said. The company may consider a listing once the projects are operational, he said.

Initial exploration at four sites at the Mayoko mine identified a resource of 400 million tons, Venter said. The project may yield an additional 2 billion tons as adjacent areas are explored, he said.

Exxaro will also develop port facilities at an area north of Congo’s Pointe-Noire harbor to export ore from Mayoko, Venter said. The company is in talks with the government about developing rail to handle iron-ore exports, he said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-...considering-congo-hydroelectric-plant-3-.html
 

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MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti)

Russia in Congo Rail Project Talks

Congo has held talks with Russian Railway monopoly RZD over possible railway projects and supply of passenger trains in the Central African country, RZD told Prime news agency on Tuesday.

An RZD delegation visited Congo on Monday to discuss construction of railroads in high temperature conditions.

“The two sides...also showed interest in locomotives, first of all, passenger trains with mileage,” an RZD spokesman said.

Congo’s railroads are mostly used by agricultural and mining companies. Construction of railroads is part of the government’s infrastructure development program aimed at linking enclaves and remote regions with the rest of the country.
another piece of news concerning rail upgrade in ROC, not worth a thread of its own
 
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