NorthWest Rail represents one of Africa's newest and most ambitious railway transportation projects.
The first phase starts in the town of Chingola and heads west through the copper rich areas of the Copperbelt and North West Province through to the town of Solwezi, where First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQML) currently operate Kansanshi Mine and the recently commissioned Kansanshi Smelter.
The line then continues from just outside the town of Solwezi towards Lumwana Mine, currently operated by Barrick Gold, where a terminal facility and passing loop is proposed. The track then moves further westward to the town of Kalumbila to service the recently commissioned Trident Mine Project (FQML).
The total distance of Phase 1 is estimated at 341 kilometres and includes a number of passing loops and marshalling and maintenance facilities outside the town of Solwezi.
The second phase connects the Phase 1 railway to the Angolan border where it would ultimately be linked to the Benguela Railway within Angola. Phase 2 commences from the terminus of the Phase 1 railway at Trident Mine (outside the mine boundary), through the towns of Lumwana, Chebinda, Mwinilunga then in a more northerly direction to the border town of Jimbe on the boarder of Zambia and Angola.
NWR Ltd has undertaken a preliminary investigation into the feasibility of constructing a railway line from Lumwana Town north to the border town of Sakabinda, on the border of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The line would then continue northward to the town of Kolwezi and join the existing line through to the Kamoa Mine located west of the town of Kolwezi.