Nearly 22,000 lengths of 60 cm pipe were welded together to construct the Pipeline that connects the Mine to the Plant Site. The Pipeline has a proven design, similar to pipelines operating elsewhere in the world, and has a capacity to transport 826 tonnes of slurried ore per hour.
From the Ore Preparation Plant, the slurry is pumped into the Pipeline where it begins a 220 km, 30 hour, downhill journey to the Plant Site. Most of the energy needed to move the ore through the Pipeline comes from the 1,000 m difference in elevation between the Mine and Plant Site.
For nearly all of its length, the Pipeline was buried using standard “cut and cover” construction to an average depth of 1.5 m. In certain areas, Ambatovy drilled horizontally beneath the surface, leaving stretches of forest untouched, and allowing the Pipeline to pass safely below Madagascarâ€™s scenic rivers.
Extensive rehabilitation over the course of the Pipeline is already returning the landscape to its natural state.