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Sierra Leone: Dawnus Starts Multi-Billion Pound Rail Project

Freetown — Dawnus’ project, including a 200 kilometer rail for African Minerals Limited (AML), in Sierra Leone is underway with works progressing well after four months on site.

Its section of the multi-billion pound project for AML involves the construction of a logistics corridor to haul iron ore from a flagship iron ore mine in Tonkolili to the nearest port at Pepel, 200 kilometres away.

The fastest growing civil engineering, building and construction company in Wales and South of England was established in 2001 with a senior management team of highly skilled professionals. Dawnus are working on four separate packages of the project to deliver 50km of new rail, 67km of rail refurbishment, a quarry operation and civil engineering work at the port of Pepel.

Although setting up of the operation in the country has been a logistical challenge over the past four months involving shipping over US$15m of equipment and materials from Tilbury to Freetown, the company has 30 of its UK employees to manage, engineer and supervise the works.

Dawnus are also employing over 160 Sierra Leoneans on the projects under fair trade terms, including labourers, tradesmen, engineers and administrative staff. They have also sent training staff to the country to train 50 local operatives in using plant to European standards.

Project Manager, Mike Condon, says “it has been an incredible few months of co-operation between African Minerals, Dawnus and the local people to get the project up and running before the rainy season starts.” “It has brought out the best in our team, and they have demonstrated qualities and resilience that we are very proud of.”

The US$24.5m rail construction through the African Bush entails extensive cut and fill operations, pioneering through swamps, extensive drainage operations including diversions, levees and the installation of numerous culverts, creating embankments, and cuttings for the new rail.

The rail refurbishment civil package (US$5m) consists of removal of vegetation, widening and preparation of formation, laying of ballast and the stabilisation and reconstruction of embankments.

“Our quarry works (US$4.5m) consist of site clearance, drill and blast and process to ballast using our own crushing and screening equipment. This involves over 125,000t of ballast and 30,000t of concrete aggregate.”

At Pepel they are providing foundations for the new materials handling equipment as well as the camp accommodation and undertaking cut/fill earthworks and demolition at the stockyard.

The whole project is being delivered in line with a strict Environmental and Social Management Plan, to ensure that the project complies with all relevant government legislation and good practices.

Source: Concord Times ( Freetown) Image:

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