Zambia may soon have another private railway line that would link the country with Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Chingola in northern region, after North Western Railway and South Africa’s Grindrod Limited signed a US$1 billion joint venture agreement to construct a more than 580km rail link.
The new railway line, whose construction is expected to start this quarter, marks a milestone in Zambia’s contribution to infrastructure development, as encouraged by the SADC regional leadership. Once completed, the railway line is expected to boost mines in north-western Zambia, where vast deposits of copper and other minerals, including gold, have been discovered and are being tapped to full potential. The railway project when completed, will link Zambia with Angola up to the port of Jimbe. The first 290km phase of the line will run from Chingola to the Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila mines, at an estimated capital cost of about US$489 million.
The second phase, that will cost US$500m, will connect with the Benguela railway line on the Zambia-Angola border near Jimbe and will open a direct corridor to Lobito.