A multi-billion dollar project is under way in Sierra Leone, where a 200km railway is being revived, linking the iron-ore mine at Tonkolili with the port of Pepel. Dawnus, a large civil engineering, building and construction company in Wales and the south of England is to build 50km of new line and refurbish 67km of the existing trackage. Over $US15m worth of equipment and materials has been shipped from Tilbury to Freetown, and the company has sent 30 of its UK employees to manage, engineer and supervise the works. This includes upgrading of the port. Dawnus are also employing over 160 Sierra Leoneans, 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.
The $US24.5m rail construction entails extensive cut and fill operations, pioneering through swamps, extensive drainage operations including diversions, levees and the installation of numerous culverts, creating embankments, and excavating cuttings. The rail refurbishment civil package ($US5m) consists of removal of vegetation, widening and preparation of formation, laying of ballast and the stabilisation and reconstruction of embankments.
The quarry works ($US4.5m) consist of site clearance, drill-and-blast and process to ballast using crushing and screening equipment. This involves over 125,000t of ballast and 30,000t of concrete aggregate.
At Pepel, Dawnus is providing foundations for the new materials handling equipment as well as camp accommodation, cut/fill earthworks and demolition at the stockyard. The client is African Minerals Limited (AML).
The project is being delivered in line with a strict environmental and social management plan, ensuring compliance with all relevant government legislation and good practice.