Various studies have been done for determination of the best transport infrastructure for the project. And it was examined not only potential method of transportation as:
- Haul road for variable tonnages,
- Combination of road and rail,
- Pipeline and,
- Overhead tramway,
But also location for destination point as:
Within Risk Analysis it was revealed that Boffa as a location add the highest value into the Project and has minimum level of gaps and uncertainties.
A number of options for bauxite transport from Télimélé mine to Boffa port were considered (approx. 120 km distance). The terrain from the mine to port is variable — Hilly for 50+ km, undulating for further 20 km then relatively flat to Boffa port.
Each option was investigated by specialists.
The final transport process will be implemented over a number of years as each stage is upgraded from the initial mine to port haul road for 1.5 Mtpa through 5 Mtpa and completed potentially with a full mine to port railway supporting 10 Mtpa.
A plan was developed for transport of material from the mine to the port in three stages:
Construct a haul road from Boffa port to the mine with the capability to transport 3 Mtpa — 5 Mtpa of direct shipped ore (DSO). During this period construction of the railway will commence.
Complete within three years either 71 km or 85 km of railway from Boffa to a site inland where the haul road can connect with the railway. A transfer facility is to be built at this location to transfer ore from road haulage to rail and provide capacity to move 10 Mtpa. Estimates have been produced for the cost of building the sections of railway from Boffa to each of the sites.
Complete the railway.
- Staged transportation development will accommodate Project’s capacity ramp up from 5MTPA to 10+MTPA of bauxite exports
- The envisaged scenario assumes construction of 87km rail and 51km dirt road to the port (KP51)
- Staged CAPEX schedule will allow gradual investment curve
- Independent from other operators route is under development to accommodate 10+MTPA of exports
- Interference with other operators will be avoided
- Two major sea ports in Guinea allow for max 60kt DWT ships to be loaded, bottlenecking bauxite exports from Guinea
- Construction of a new deep water port would cost more than $2bn
- Offshore Transshipment Solution is a low cost alternative to sea port
- Target export vessel’s capacity — up to Cape Size (180,000t)
- The solution will need only small jetty loading barges up Pongo River The transshipment facility will have throughput of 40-60kt/day to keep laytimes within 5-6 days