Zouérat

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Zouérat

الزويرات
Commune and town
Zouérat city center
Zouérat city center
Zouérat is located in Mauritania
Zouérat
Zouérat
Location in Mauritania
Coordinates: 22°41′N 12°28′W / 22.683°N 12.467°W / 22.683; -12.467Coordinates: 22°41′N 12°28′W / 22.683°N 12.467°W / 22.683; -12.467
CountryFlag of Mauritania.svg Mauritania
RegionTiris Zemmour
Elevation
380 m (1,250 ft)
Population
 (2013 census)
 • Total44,649

Zouérat (Arabic: الزويرات‎) is the largest town in northern Mauritania and the capital of Tiris Zemmour region, with an approximate population of 44,649 (2013). It lies at the eastern end of the Mauritania Railway to Nouadhibou.

History[edit]

The town developed from its importance to iron ore mining. It is surrounded by the hematite mines of Fderîck, Tazadit and Rouessa. The town houses the regional administration and military for Tiris Zemmour. Most of town's population are employed directly and indirectly in the mining industry. A sizeable number of foreign workers from other African countries live in the town. Amenities include a medical clinic, social club, pool, school and shop.

Since the mid 2000s, a shanty town has grown around the town. In response authorities have begun construction of a wall, nicknamed locally as the "mur de la honte" (wall of shame), to separate the two areas. Lack of housing for the Mauritanian workers has included the building of new apartment buildings between Zouérat and Kediet ej Jill mountain.

Mining[edit]

In 1952 iron ore deposits was first commercially extracted from the Kediet ej Jill. Mining at the mountain was first recorded in the 11th century. But it was not until the mid 20th century that work began on an industrialized scale. Beginning in 1958, the first concessions on iron ore extraction were given to Miferma, Société des mines de fer de Mauritanie. At the time it was majority-controlled by European-based mining interests, however, in 1974 Miferma was nationalized by the Mauritanian government.

In 1981 a new iron ore deposit was discovered at Guelb el Rhein, 35 km (22 mi) north of Zouérat. Almost a decade later, another was found in 1990 at Guelb Mhadaouat about 65 km (40 mi) from Zouérat.[1] Other companies exploring for iron ore in the region include Xstrata and Arcelor Mittal. The reserves at the SNIM's Tazadit mine are estimated to be 200×10^6 t (200,000,000 t) of hematite.

Transport[edit]

Map showing the location of Zouérat on the Mauritania Railway.

Zouérat is connected to the port of Nouadhibou by the Mauritania Railway. Freight trains that transport the iron ore to the coast can be as long as 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) in length.[2] The line is also used to bring in all the town's drinking water from Boulenoir.

Tazadit Airport is served by regular flights from/to Nouadhibou and seasonally from/to Casablanca using Mauritania Airlines International Boeing 737-500 and Boeing 737-700 planes.

Outside the mines, traffic drives on the right side of the road like the rest of Mauritania. However, all vehicles within the mining areas drive on the left. Traffic switches sides at the mine entrances.

Climate[edit]

Zouérat has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). The climate is hot and dry throughout the year, a description accredited to the town's location within the extremes of the Sahara.

Climate data for Zouerat
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34
(93)
34
(93)
37
(99)
40
(104)
43
(109)
46
(115)
47
(117)
46
(115)
44
(111)
41
(106)
38
(100)
36
(97)
47
(117)
Average high °C (°F) 22
(72)
25
(77)
26
(79)
31
(88)
33
(91)
36
(97)
40
(104)
40
(104)
37
(99)
32
(90)
27
(81)
23
(73)
31
(88)
Average low °C (°F) 12
(54)
15
(59)
16
(61)
18
(64)
20
(68)
23
(73)
26
(79)
27
(81)
26
(79)
22
(72)
18
(64)
14
(57)
20
(68)
Record low °C (°F) 6
(43)
8
(46)
10
(50)
10
(50)
12
(54)
15
(59)
16
(61)
18
(64)
17
(63)
12
(54)
10
(50)
6
(43)
6
(43)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 4
(0.2)
2
(0.1)
2
(0.1)
1
(0.0)
1
(0.0)
2
(0.1)
3
(0.1)
8
(0.3)
21
(0.8)
5
(0.2)
4
(0.2)
3
(0.1)
56
(2.2)
Source: Weatherbase

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zouérat". www.lexicorient.com. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  2. ^ "The ore train". Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière. Archived from the original on September 19, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008.