Tsoldio Resources (TSX.V: TSD) has joined the Walvis Bay Corridor Group which was established in 2000 to engage in business development activities – thereby increasing cargo for ports and corridors linked to it, and to engage in the facilitation of corridor and infrastructure development.
The Walvis Bay Corridors are an integrated system of well maintained tarred roads and rail networks – accommodating all modes of transport – from the Port of Walvis Bay via the Trans Kalahari, Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (previously known as the Trans-Caprivi), Trans-Cunene and Trans-Oranje Corridors providing landlocked SADC countries access to transatlantic markets.
The Walvis Bay Corridors are positioned to give the country a competitive edge as a transport hub for all regional and international trade between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Europe, the America’s and the rest of the world. Through our world-class commercial port at Walvis Bay, international shipping connection and the added advantage of being a gateway to the west coast of Africa, Namibia plays an increasingly important role in trade, linking the global economic centres to over 330 million consumers in southern Africa.
The corridors, serving the two ports, is a network of transport routes from the neighboring SADC countries of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe (see Figure 1). The corridors include:
- the Port of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz,• the Trans Kalahari corridor connecting Botswana and South Africa,
- the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi development corridor connecting Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo,
- the Trans-Cunene corridor connecting Angola, and
- the Trans-Oranje corridor connecting South Africa.
Of specific importance to Tsodilo is the Walvis Bay - Ndola - Lumumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC) which connects Namibia - Zambia - Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with links to Angola - Zimbabwe, Malawi & Tanzania. WBNLDC provides the shortest route between the Namibian west coast Ports of Lüderitz and Walvis Bay and the vital transport hubs of Livingstone, Lusaka and Ndola in Zambia, Lubumbashi (southern DRC), and Zimbabwe. This corridor is perfectly positioned to service the two-way trade between the SADC region and Europe, North and South America and emerging markets in the East. See Figure 1 for a regional context to this important transport corridor.
The portion of the corridor between Grootfontein (Namibia) to Katima Mulilo located on the Zambia border is the portion of the corridor to the Xaudum Iron Project (Figure 2), and is currently connected by a Grade A bitumen highway used for the transportation of goods and services. However, in March 2021, the Namibian Ministry of Works and Transport commissioned a Feasibility Study for the Trans-Zambezi Railway Extension Grootfontein - Rundu - Katima Mulilo. This feasibility study is one of the project components being implemented under the Namibian Transport Infrastructure Improvement Project and the consultancy services are being funded by the African Development Bank and the Government of the Republic of Namibia. The Trans-Zambezi Railway Extension line linking Zambia and Namibia is planned to pass through Divundu providing access to Walvis Bay, Namibia's deep-sea port.
The proposed rail extension between Grootfontein and Katima Mulilo is significant to Tsodilo as the extension is planned to pass through Divundu in Namibia which is located approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles) from our license location in Northern Botswana (see Figure 2). The feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 and its results will be considered in our Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA).
"The proposed rail extension is an important development for Tsodilo as it opens up a proximate rail transportation system for the delivery of the projects potential iron products, such as iron concentrate, iron pellets, potential direct reduced iron (DRI) products, and Ferrosilicone (FeSi) products, throughout central, eastern and southern Africa as well as international markets," commented the Company's Chairman and CEO, James M. Bruchs.