The South African-based Grindrod has invested $500 million for the construction of the first phase of two, of Zambia’s North West Rail project.

The railway line aimed at linking Angola and Zambia will be 580 km long and will connect Zambia’s copper mines and assist in the transport of mineral goods between the Northwest and Copperbelt regions of the country.

Currently, the majority of Zambia’s copper is being transported by trucks to ports at South Africa and Tanzania.

Daniel Rea, manager of Grindrod Limited Zambia, said, “This is a permanent investment for Zambia. It will boost the country’s economy permanently. The Zambia North West Rail will also relieve pressure from the roads because huge cargo will now be transported by rail.”

The first phase of the railway project is 290 km and will run from Chingola to the Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila mines in north-western Zambia, at an estimated capital cost of $489 million. The second phase of the project will connect with the Benguela railway line on the Zambia-Angola border near Jimbe and will open a direct corridor to Lobito, costing $500 million.

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