Moto Engil Africa has said that the existing railway between Ngaoundéré and the Port of Douala in Cameroon can support bauxite transport from the Minim Martap mine.
It undertook an investigation on behalf of Camalco, the local offshoot of Australia’s Canyon Resources, which plans to develop the mine. The line, which is operated by Camrail and passes the Édea aluminium plant on its way to Douala, is currently being upgraded.
The company has yet to reveal its expected export volumes, but Cameroon is believed to have the second biggest bauxite reserves in Africa after Guinea.
Canyon Resources said in March that it had “identified a very high-grade bauxite resource of almost 251 Mt within the existing 550 Mt resource at the world class Minim Martap project. A detailed review of exploration by SRK Consulting confirms that more than half of the area drilled for the current bulk resource is over 50% aluminium oxide with very low contaminants.”
Canyon also holds a three-year mining permit for the adjacent Ngaoundal bauxite discovery, and secured both licences after previous permit holder Cameroon Alumina (CAL) failed to reach an agreement with the Government of Cameroon over their development.
The Moto Engil study also concluded that the proposed spur line from the main railway to the new deepwater port of Kribi would be feasible.
Canyon MD Phillip Gallagher said: “A logistics solution is a crucial component of the Minim Martap project, and we are pleased with the very positive feedback from this assessment of the existing rail infrastructure, in particular that ongoing maintenance and upgrade works are underway.”
The company appeared to suggest that Kribi would be its preferred outlet. Canyon and Mota Engil will draw up a financing plan for the construction and operation of the Kribi rail project to present to the government.