South Africa’s state owned logistics company Transnet said on Thursday it was in talks to construct a heavy haul railway line to export some of Botswana’s 212 billion tonnes of coal reserves.
Transnet said the agreement to construct the link with Botswana Railways will see up to 80 million tonnes of coal transported annually from Botswana for export and domestic use.
Coal will be transported for export via South Africa’s Richards Bay port and the port of Maputo in Mozambique.
The talks between the two railway companies took place on the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town this week, based on a ten-year old study that showed the railway link to be the most viable option to ferry the coal reserves from Botswana.
Transnet said its ongoing railways expansion in South Africa would be linked to the new rail network to Botswana.
Botswana’s first privately owned coal mine, which is estimated to hold 390 million tonnes of coal reserves, said last week it could produce its first saleable coal in March.