Japanese firms eye mining sector

JAPANESE firms are expected to make multi-million-dollar investments into Zimbabwe’s mining sector in the near future, Japan’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Mr Yoshi Hiraishi, has said.

Zimbabwe signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) – a Japanese independent administrative institution –  in September last year.

Based on the MOU, JOGMEC will provide geological survey expertise to Zimbabwe’s mining professionals through its training centre – Geologic Remote Training Centre in Botswana.

Officiating at a conference organised by the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in conjunction with JOGMEC, Ambassador Hiraishi said the entrance of JOGMEC in Zimbabwe marked the beginning of cooperation in the mining sector.

“When necessary, JOGMEC becomes a pioneer of Japanese mining companies so as to pave way the way for those companies to follow.

“The active involvement of JOGMEC in the mining sector of Zimbabwe will hopefully attract Japanese companies’ attention, which may lead to investment in Zimbabwe’s mining sector in the future,” he said.

He noted that Japan’s vast experience in the mining sector and technical expertise will greatly contribute to the country’s sustainable exploitation of Zimbabwe’s abundant mineral resources.

JOGMEC’s Botswana Geologic Remote Sensing Centre general manager Mr Takashi Ooka said the country’s rich mineral resources are a huge incentive for investors.

“We are very interested in Zimbabwe, it has great potential with its minerals, but currently we are focusing on exploration with Government,” he said.

In view of the falling global prices of commodities, Mr Ooka said this could be the time to invest in the sector.

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