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Angola and DRC announce joint project to rehabilitate railway line

Railway in Democratic Republic of Congo   -  
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Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have announced a joint project to rehabilitate the railway line linking the Congolese mining regions to the Atlantic Ocean.

Earlier this week, Luanda and Kinshasa granted a group of investors a 30-year concession to operate the line linking the Angolan port of Lobito to Kolwezi, in the heart of the DRC's mineral-producing region.

The 1,700 km railway line was built 100 years ago by British investors.

The $555 million project, partly finance by the US, is expected to develop exports of copper ore and other products, boost regional trade and strengthen Angola's ties with Western countries.

The DRC is the world's leading producer of cobalt and Africa's leading producer of copper, two minerals used in the manufacture of solar panels and electric cars.

According to the Angolan operator, Vecturis, work should start within the next three months.

The consortium, which includes commodities trader Trafigura and Portuguese construction company Mota-Engil, hopes to reduce the journey time between the DRC and Lobito to less than 36 hours, with at least six trains a day over the next five years.

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