Iron Ore Railways in Africa

 
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
A number of iron ore railways have been proposed in Africa, but progress seems to be slow:

* Liberia - restore 1535mm gauge line put out of use by civil war.

* Sierra Leone - renovate and extend 1067mm line.

* Guinea - 1435mm line tied up by corruption and legal wrangling (Rio is company involved).
** Lobole (Port) - Mbalam
** See: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/mbalam-project

* Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville - 1435mm line hamstrung by loss of directors in plane crash.

* Ivory Coast - 1435mm line proposed.
* * San Pedro - Bakano
* * See: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/san-pedro-bamako-corridor

* Mauritania - 1435mm - long established line happily operating.
* * See : http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/mauritania-railway

Each of these lines would carry a significant tonnage of iron ore, of the order of 20-40MT/y.

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  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney

* Sierra Leone - renovate and extend 1067mm line.
awsgc24
Whole of line closed down due to low price of iron ore.

For details of Sierra Leone see https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2190139.htm#2190139

For PARENT THREAD see https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2189234.htm#2189234
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
It would be better wimbledon is you could not refer back to the parent post but rather post new into the thread you are in making it much easily to follow the projects.  Do you mind doing that please?
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
It would be better wimbledon is you could not refer back to the parent post but rather post new into the thread you are in making it much easily to follow the projects.  Do you mind doing that please?
NSWGR8022

I beg to differ in part. The "Parent Post" was created in the first place by going through all the "International" threads and selecting the African based threads to go into that PARENT POST. To go back to the PARENT POST there is a backwards link in each African thread. This makes it easy to navigate the African threads in two steps at a time; going Up and Down.

That said, if new information is found about say "Iron Ore in Africa", that info would not be added to the Parent Post but rather in this post called "Iron Ore Railways in Africa", and so on. This is what NSWGR8022 seems to be asking. The Parent POST only contains these links.

The PARENT POST is a bit like having an "International - Africa" topic, which can only be done by the moderators, if they had the time. There are about 50 countries in Africa which have or could have railways, plus a few special links such as "Ports and Rail" and "Iron Ore".

Finding the thread for say Senegal, requires you to find and enter the PARENT POST page, and select the link to Senegal. This page is only easy to find if it has been recently edited and hence appears on the "New Forum Posts" list.

If a link to the "PARENT POST - AFRICA" could be added to the top of the list of files, that would be nicer, but only the moderators can do this, I suppose.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
The other way to look at it might be then i look at the new forum posting summary I can see there is an african iron ore thread and it has new posts. I want to go to that thread and read new info and posts not go there and have t click to another thread.

Just my view and I do love reading your posts about africa.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
It's amusing that the first post mentions Sierra Leone and is dated 6 years after I stopped working on their newly opened iron ore railway. Nothing like up to date news!
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It would be better wimbledon is you could not refer back to the parent post but rather post new into the thread you are in making it much easily to follow the projects.  Do you mind doing that please?

I beg to differ in part. The "Parent Post" was created in the first place by going through all the "International" threads and selecting the African based threads to go into that PARENT POST. To go back to the PARENT POST there is a backwards link in each African thread. This makes it easy to navigate the African threads in two steps at a time; going Up and Down.

That said, if new information is found about say "Iron Ore in Africa", that info would not be added to the Parent Post but rather in this post called "Iron Ore Railways in Africa", and so on. This is what NSWGR8022 seems to be asking. The Parent POST only contains these links.

The PARENT POST is a bit like having an "International - Africa" topic, which can only be done by the moderators, if they had the time. There are about 50 countries in Africa which have or could have railways, plus a few special links such as "Ports and Rail" and "Iron Ore".

Finding the thread for say Senegal, requires you to find and enter the PARENT POST page, and select the link to Senegal. This page is only easy to find if it has been recently edited and hence appears on the "New Forum Posts" list.

If a link to the "PARENT POST - AFRICA" could be added to the top of the list of files, that would be nicer, but only the moderators can do this, I suppose.
WimbledonW
Maybe you should get your own blog?
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
What is wrong with posting here?
  M636C Minister for Railways

You can't have an article on iron ore trains in Africa without mentioning the Sishen Saldhana line.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sishen%E2%80%93Saldanha_railway_line

and, of course the locomotives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Class_15E

The original 9E locomotives were used in the development of the specifications for the QR Coal line electrification.

Peter
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
A number of iron ore railways have been PROPOSED in Africa, but progress seems to be slow:

* Liberia - restore 1435mm gauge line put out of use by civil war.

* Sierra Leone - renovate and extend 1067mm line.

* Guinea - 1435mm line tied up by corruption and legal wrangling (Rio is company involved). PROPOSED
* * Simandou (mine) - Matakong (port)
* * https://www.railjournal.com/infrastructure/guinea-iron-ore-mine-project-to-include-650kmh/
* * https://www.ft.com/content/6729b63c-12d3-11ea-a225-db2f231cfeae

* Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville - 1435mm line hamstrung by loss of directors in plane crash.
** Lobole (Port) - Mbalam
** See: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/mbalam-project

* Ivory Coast - 1435mm line PROPOSED.
* * San Pedro - Bakano
* * See: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/san-pedro-bamako-corridor

* Mauritania - 1435mm - long established line happily operating. EXISTING
* * See : http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/mauritania-railway

Each of these lines would carry a significant tonnage of iron ore, of the order of 20-40MT/y.

You can't have an article on iron ore trains in Africa without mentioning the EXISTING Sishen Saldhana line.

* South Africa EXISTING
* *  Sishen (mine) Saldhana (port)  line
* * Very, very long trains see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAe_XqnPVqQ


* Ghana PROPOSED
* * https://steelguru.com/mining/ghana-discovery-over-1-7-billion-tonnes-of-iron-ore-in-accra/540346
A new standard gauge network of railways in Ghana will also serve mineral deposits including Tatale/Sanguli district iron ore.
The new SG network has a fourfold increase route-mileage compared to existing.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for sharing.
  steamfreak Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wodonga, VIC
A number of iron ore railways have been PROPOSED in Africa, but progress seems to be slow:

* Liberia - restore 1435mm gauge line put out of use by civil war.

* Sierra Leone - renovate and extend 1067mm line.

* Guinea - 1435mm line tied up by corruption and legal wrangling (Rio is company involved). PROPOSED
* * Simandou (mine) - Matakong (port)
* * https://www.railjournal.com/infrastructure/guinea-iron-ore-mine-project-to-include-650kmh/
* * https://www.ft.com/content/6729b63c-12d3-11ea-a225-db2f231cfeae

* Cameroon and Congo-Brazzaville - 1435mm line hamstrung by loss of directors in plane crash.
** Lobole (Port) - Mbalam
** See: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/mbalam-project

* Ivory Coast - 1435mm line PROPOSED.
* * San Pedro - Bakano
* * See: http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/san-pedro-bamako-corridor

* Mauritania - 1435mm - long established line happily operating. EXISTING
* * See : http://www.railwaysafrica.com/news/mauritania-railway

Each of these lines would carry a significant tonnage of iron ore, of the order of 20-40MT/y.

You can't have an article on iron ore trains in Africa without mentioning the EXISTING Sishen Saldhana line.

* South Africa EXISTING
* *  Sishen (mine) Saldhana (port)  line
* * Very, very long trains see

* Ghana PROPOSED
* * https://steelguru.com/mining/ghana-discovery-over-1-7-billion-tonnes-of-iron-ore-in-accra/540346
A new standard gauge network of railways in Ghana will also serve mineral deposits including Tatale/Sanguli district iron ore.
The new SG network has a fourfold increase route-mileage compared to existing.
WimbledonW
I visited the Saldanha operation a few years ago - very impressive!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKpuVNm4c2Y&ab_channel=steamfreak3450-Steamtrainsaroundtheworld
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
There are 20 or so iron ore deposits around Africa which could be developed for export using rail. The total capacity of these projects starts to total the a significant fraction of the production of the Pilbara in WA. If nothing else, future capacity from Africa will dampen the high current price of Iron Ore. Expect some of these African iron mines to come on line in 5 to 10 years.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Probably a couple of decades ago, I dd a desktop study for a railway to a new mine in Guinea going the length of the country and serving intermediate towns. We had some pretty crude topo to work with and an indication of previous closed railways. There was a trackbed crossing across Liberia with good alignments but politics intervened and Guinea wanted the railway.
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Probably a couple of decades ago, I dd a desktop study for a railway to a new mine in Guinea going the length of the country and serving intermediate towns. We had some pretty crude topo to work with and an indication of previous closed railways. There was a trackbed crossing across Liberia with good alignments but politics intervened and Guinea wanted the railway.
62440

It is a pity that Guinea didn't allow some say 25% of its iron ore to be exported by an easy route through neighbouring Liberia rather than selfishly keep all 100% via its own more expensive rail lines. That would have been a "Pan-African" policy.
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Probably a couple of decades ago, I dd a desktop study for a railway to a new mine in Guinea going the length of the country and serving intermediate towns. We had some pretty crude topo to work with and an indication of previous closed railways. There was a trackbed crossing across Liberia with good alignments but politics intervened and Guinea wanted the railway.

It is a pity that Guinea didn't allow some say 25% of its iron ore to be exported by an easy route through neighbouring Liberia rather than selfishly keep all 100% via its own more expensive rail lines. That would have been a "Pan-African" policy.

This would have started exports from Guinea sooner rather than later. The Guinea and Liberia railways are both standard gauge.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Probably a couple of decades ago, I dd a desktop study for a railway to a new mine in Guinea going the length of the country and serving intermediate towns. We had some pretty crude topo to work with and an indication of previous closed railways. There was a trackbed crossing across Liberia with good alignments but politics intervened and Guinea wanted the railway.

It is a pity that Guinea didn't allow some say 25% of its iron ore to be exported by an easy route through neighbouring Liberia rather than selfishly keep all 100% via its own more expensive rail lines. That would have been a "Pan-African" policy.

This would have started exports from Guinea sooner rather than later. The Guinea and Liberia railways are both standard gauge.
WimbledonW
Pan African is a pipe dream. In the end Guinea was probably being pragmatic and decided on to put their economic wealth into the hands on Liberia with their unreliable political stability.

Liberia has not have had a good political history and neither has Guinea. We all know the sagas.
  M636C Minister for Railways
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Probably a couple of decades ago, I dd a desktop study for a railway to a new mine in Guinea going the length of the country and serving intermediate towns. We had some pretty crude topo to work with and an indication of previous closed railways. There was a trackbed crossing across Liberia with good alignments but politics intervened and Guinea wanted the railway.

It is a pity that Guinea didn't allow some say 25% of its iron ore to be exported by an easy route through neighbouring Liberia rather than selfishly keep all 100% via its own more expensive rail lines. That would have been a "Pan-African" policy.
WimbledonW

Guinea has a strong policy to not be just a quarry, the want value adding jobs. Having the port in their country creates more local jobs and avoids political risk.

Also don't forget about Guineas other railways hauling bauxite. This is the one the company I work for owns.

https://www.ega.ae/media/1900/ega-gac-factsheet-english-final.pdf
  WimbledonW Chief Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Guinea has a strong policy to not be just a quarry, the want value adding jobs. Having the port in their country creates more local jobs and avoids political risk.

Also don't forget about Guineas other railways hauling bauxite. This is the one the company I work for owns.

https://www.ega.ae/media/1900/ega-gac-factsheet-english-final.pdf
RTT_Rules

The factsheet report is very positive. Smile Pity that Australia doesn't do more down stream processing.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_stations_in_Guinea the Boke railway is standard gauge.

Because the water near the shore is shallow, barges are needed to transfer the ore to capesize vessels 40km off shore. This is like to proposed barges at Port Augusta which is also shallow.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Guinea has a strong policy to not be just a quarry, the want value adding jobs. Having the port in their country creates more local jobs and avoids political risk.

Also don't forget about Guineas other railways hauling bauxite. This is the one the company I work for owns.

https://www.ega.ae/media/1900/ega-gac-factsheet-english-final.pdf

The factsheet report is very positive. Smile Pity that Australia doesn't do more down stream processing.

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_stations_in_Guinea the Boke railway is standard gauge.

Because the water near the shore is shallow, barges are needed to transfer the ore to capesize vessels 40km off shore. This is like to proposed barges at Port Augusta which is also shallow.
WimbledonW
There are a number of bauxite mines, Rio I believe may have one as well.

When EGA first bought the lease off BHP, one of the stumbling blocks by the local govt was they wanted down stream processing such as an alumina refinery. Realistically this isn't going to happen any time soon as the population isn't ready for it. You'd spend $5B to build a plant, mostly run by well paid expats who live in an effective community island (prison) and make almost no significant financial contribution to the local economy and just send all their money home.

The work we had to do just to bring the local people up to a suitable standard to run a basic open cut shallow quarry and run a railway was huge. Realistically you are dealing with people that have yet to join the 20th century with grossly inadequate education and general life skills. We had dozens at a time in training in Dubai at a time teaching them the equivalent of high school and how to operate machinery.

In country we had to provide everything, there was nothing of use to us, including water supply, power supply, railway, port, roads....

From the start we stated a zero bribery policy with the govt which initially thought this was just lip service until they realised it wasn't. The only thing we provide free is water. Hence the locals call us the Water company. Our company home page is called "MyEGA", which in the Guinea local language means "Hello" or similar, fortunately not anything else.  

Anyway, so they have a bauxite mine where we add as much value into the country as possible, but I doubt the alumina refinery will be built this side of 2030 or at all. The bauxite is being used to supply our Refinery in the UAE which will likely be expanded. The bulk of the rest of our alumina comes from ALCOA WA, which is good stuff and we have longterm contract.

While Australia does export some bauxite, mostly from Wepia and in recent years Gove after the not very old Refinery was closed due to high energy costs, most is converted to alumina in Australia, however a decreasing amount is then smelted to metal in Australia.

Personally I would limit bauxite exports to 10% of mined and alumina exports to 25% with the aim to increase metal production in country, not reduce alumina production.

Unfortunately govt policy is not longer supporting such onshoring.

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