A study by Sovereign Metals Limited, the company exploring rutile mineral deposits at Kasiya in central Malawi’s Lilongwe district, has confirmed that the Nacala Corridor is the preferred logistics infrastructure for exporting the company’s mineral products to global markets through the Nacala port on the Indian Ocean in Mozambique.
“Kasiya benefits from access to a fully operating rail line and class-1 all-weather sealed road network,” says Sovereign Metals Limited Managing Director, Julian Stephens, pointing out at the bitumen road network, which provides a 50km short haulage distance from the 75km radius rutile exploration license areas at Kasiya to an intermodal rail at Kanengo in Lilongwe city.
Privileged with an existing mon functional rail line passing through the exploration license area, Stephens says “Sovereign is assessing the possibility of establishing its own rail siding as a logistics option as part of the current Scoping Study to reduce haulage and potentially reduce operating costs”.
According to the study the current transport network is underutilised with only 15 percent of the rail freight capacity currently in use while on 41 percent is utilized at the Nacala deep-water port.
Landlocked Malawi has traditionally been served by Nacala and Beira ports on Africa’s eastern seaboard in Mozambique. Both ports are connected by direct road and rail routes connecting to Malawi’s Commercial city of Blantyre in the south and Lilongwe, the capital city in the centre.
While the Nacala port is Sovereign Metals Limited preferred logistics route, the Beira port is a viable option considering recent announcements to upgrade the Sena rail line which connects Beira and the Tete province (Moatize Coal Mine).
The Nacala Corridor is a 912km rail line constructed to transport coal from mines in Moatize, western Mozambique to Chipata, Zambia passing through Lilongwe in Malawi to the Port of Nacala on the Indian Ocean.
The corridor benefits Malawi by providing the shortest and most direct access to the sea and global commodity markets.
Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia with support from the European Union, AfDB, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Export-Import Bank of Korea have made a total investment of approximately US$758 million in the development of the corridor.