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 12 Aug 2019

WINDHOEK - TransNamib recently achieved a milestone by moving the first shipment of Northern Cape manganese from Ariamsvlei to Lüderitz. The train departed for Ariamsvlei on landmark voyage on Thursday, August 1, 2019, and arrived at the Port of Lüderitz, where the cargo consisting of 520 tonnes was offloaded on Saturday, August 3, 2019. 

This is the first major movement of cargo on this route, especially after the rehabilitation and upgrade of the railway line between Aus and Lüderitz, which has not been operational for more than 20 years since 1998.  TradePort Namibia approached TransNamib last year to commence shipping their bulk manganese originating from the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, by rail, through the Port of Lüderitz, for export to various overseas markets. This is part of TransNamib’s objective to providing the required pit-to-port logistics solution and TradePort has made an undertaking to provide a minimum of 30 000 metric tons of manganese concentrate per month for this route.

Various stakeholders such as Namport, the Ministry of Works and Transport as well as the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development were part of the rate offer negotiations made to the customer, which was concluded in May this year. With the issuing of their Environmental Clearance Certificate, which compelled the customer to have enclosed storage warehouses at both Ariamsvlei and Lüderitz, preparations were afoot to start with the very first rail shipment of the manganese. The manganese cargo is pulled by two multiple locomotives with 20 wagons loaded with 26 tonnes of manganese each due to current railway infrastructure limitations.   This national project has seen TransNamib recruiting more than 150 people, as part of its commitment and dedication to alleviating the unemployment situation in the country. This new business venture is expected to create many spinoff business opportunities, especially in Ariamsvlei, Keetmanshoop, Aus and Lüderitz.  Manganese is a transition metal with important industrial alloy uses, particularly in stainless steel.