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Lots of Manono road works. This road will ultimately link up...

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    Lots of Manono road works.  This road will ultimately link up with Road 617.  

    A few opinions on the latest announcement.  The locations are shown below.


    'A team of consultants have been investigating the Tazara and other railway systems in the region with a view to selecting the most suitable and cost effective method of transporting Manono’s lithium products to port.  Further investigation of the Walvis Bay Corridor route is to be undertaken in January 2020 as a complimentary route to Angola and Tanzania. Walvis Bay is further in distance from Manono but is in very good condition, having just been completed and both the port and railway are under utilised at present, with the port only operating at 30 per cent capacity.'

    So the three possible export ports are,
    1) Dar es Saalam
    2) Lobito
    3) Walvis Bay

    All are pretty huge distances for moving SC6 concentrate, so ultimately, a successful mine there would be looking to convert to value added products like hydroxide and carbonate which would eliminate the transportation issue.  That would require lots of funds and a power solution (will need a lot more than 65MW from the hydro plant but that's a start).  AJM uses about 10MW and converting that SC6 in China likely uses about 5X that power.  So perhaps they can do something modular.  For the time being, it would be about using the very low mining costs (low strip ratio, labor costs and hydro power) to offset the high transportation costs.  

    'Upon further investigation, it was also found that the SNCC railway within the DRC is operational between Tenke Fungurume and the port of Lobito in Angola. The railway is used to export copper products from the Kolwezi and Tenke Fungurume areas of the DRC. The railway line within Angola was completed some four years ago and is of international standard.'

    I always thought that Lobito was the best option since a very modern line exists up to the DRC border.  Additionally, we've know for some time that trains have started exporting from the copper mines via that line.  The issue here is the DRC side of the line  which degrades in quality as you move north.  

    'In order for AVZ to make use of this rail route, AVZ would need to upgrade approximately 220km of existing gravel road between Manono and the railhead north of Tenke Fungurume at Kabondo Dianda, during the construction phase of the Manono mine. This route presents as the simplest and most cost effective investigated to date.'

    This is a much better option than Moba.  I made this map of the area some time back and talked about the various EXISTING projects going on there (here).  The black line is the DRC rail line with the location of the Kabondo Dianda railway junction shown.   Shown in red is the new AVZ proposed path, yet back at the end of 2018, it was announced that a new project has start to rehabilitate this road!  

    'Effective Start of road rehabilitation project kabondo dianda - mukwende.
    On Thursday the 15/11/2018 started the reloading of borrowing materials (Laterite).
    At the same time, the sanitation work began.'

    You can see the post details here.  This project connects to the back of the Road 617 project and the new paved road in Manono.  

    There is also a project (shown in yellow) going to the railway junction further north confirmed by a mail by gaintpaperclips but I suspect AVZs motivation is to connect to the railway line as far south as possible is to avoid the line degradation as one moves north.  Finally, I'm seeing a more realistic route from AVZ.  


    'Utilising the port of Moba is no longer under consideration given the length and cost of rehabilitation to the road and port as required by AVZ.'

    I outlined my negative thoughts on the Moba route here.  Glad the focus is elsewhere.

    'In addition, the “Mitwaba” road between Likasi and Manono is nearing completion to a good quality, all weather gravel road level with a current transit time of about two days as compared to pre-refurbishment transit times of seven days. It is expected that completion of this road will coincide with the oncoming dry season in 2020. Stage 2 of the road development, asphalting the surface, is expected to commence once the wet season is completed and any subsidence has been attended to.'

    This is the famous Road 617 which also leads to rail.
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