The newest member state of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), landlocked Botswana, has delivered its first ever iron ore export cargo to China.
The southern African nation joined the UN’s shipping body this month, becoming the IMO’s 175th member state.
Botswana’s first iron ore mine, Ikongwe, is owned by Vision Ridge Investments, a unit of India’s Yashomann Industries.
According to Alphabulk, exports currently go via South Africa in containerised shipments, but Vision Ridge is in talks with Botswana Railways to organise bulk shipments through Mozambique’s port of Maputo.
Vision Ridge has secured an order for 50,000 tons of ore per month from one of China’s state-owned steel mills.
Africa has 16 landlocked developing countries, which represent 30% of the region’s population, and which are entirely dependent on the key trading corridors through neighbours for access to the sea, according to data from the World Bank carried in a recent Splash Extra in-depth feature on the continent’s maritime potential.