While mining activities in Africa increase, more than US$50-billion will need to be spent over the next 10 years on railways to realise the potential that resources like iron ore, manganese and coal hold for the continent.
Inadequate rail networks are limiting the economic potential of some of Africa’s commodity hotspots.
There is a lot of enthusiasm about new coal, iron ore and manganese discoveries in West Africa and Mozambique. Despite this enthusiasm, the ability to fully exploit these recourses is limited by infrastructure constraints.
However, governments face the challenge of overcoming inherited infrastructure problems. Overcoming this remains vital for success, particularly when looking to enable complex projects.
For mining to be economically viable, miners need access to markets. Transport is one of the first considerations to make when investing on the continent and in making a mining project viable and profitability.
Regulatory and policy frameworks need to be developed according to the various country requirements to attract appropriate investment.
Miners want to get the product out quickly and countries with these resources want economic development. Hence, finalising the financing package and structure for the required roads, rail and ports remains the primary challenge.