DRA has been awarded the study of the Process Plant for the next phase of the Zanaga iron ore project in the Republic of Congo by MPD Congo SA, owned jointly by Glencore and the Zanaga Iron Ore Company.

The South African based engineering and project management company will carry out the study into the staged development of the project, which is due to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2014 and will form part of the basis of a mining exploitation licence application.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this important study by Glencore. The Zanaga project has the potential to become a large scale producer and a further advancing step in the burgeoning iron ore industry of the Republic of Congo,” DRA group CEO Paul Thomson said, promising to prepare “innovative and cost-effective designs for the staged implementation of Zanaga in close collaboration with Glencore.”

Previous studies have focused on the viability of a large scale 30 Mtpa mine. A review of these earlier studies by Glencore identified the potential for developing the Zanaga project in stages, with the first stage involving a smaller 12 Mtpa operation plus a 1 to 2 Mtpa direct shipping facility using existing infrastructure. Glencore expects that this revised approach will significantly reduce the anticipated initial capital cost of the project, potentially more than halving previous estimates.

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