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Botswana Chamber of Mines Says Rail Network to Cost $33 Billion

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Botswana’s Chamber of Mines said a planned heavy-haulage railway network to ship coal from the landlocked country to ports will cost about $33 billion.

“The railway lines are very, very important to us,” Charles Siwawa, the chamber’s chief executive officer, said today in an interview in Johannesburg. “They will take us to the next level of our development.”

Southern African countries are investing in rail to meet growing global demand for coal, led by China. Botswana, with about 200 billion metric tons of the resource in its central region, is in talks with South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique to build about 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) of rail lines to ports at Richards Bay, Walvis Bay and Maputo.

Namibia is leading the talks, Siwawa said. Botswana’s mines are large enough to require all three planned lines, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net; Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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