GOVERNMENT says Japan wants to import about 15 million tonnes of coal from Zimbabwe every year, a development that will boost the coal industry. Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Gift Chimanikire said the Japanese were already conducting feasibility studies to determine the sustainability of the project. He said representatives from a Japanese governmental agency were in the country last week to learn more about the coal situation in Zimbabwe.
"Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation has identified the need for coal in Japan. They want a long- term import system which we have capacity to provide. They will be sending a bigger delegation in January for a site visit to Hwange where we have huge deposits," said Deputy Minister Chimanikire.
He said if the deal succeeds, the development would result in increased capacity in coal extraction. Deputy Minister Chimanikire said while coal-mining companies in the country were extracting way below Japanese requirements, the country has capacity to meet the demand, with an estimated reserve of over 20 billion tonnes.
Deputy Minister Chimanikire said the Japanese were also considering investing in a coking plant. He added that they were also considering improving infrastructure for the smooth transportation of coal.
Jogmec wanted to know the energy policy, coal policy and the energy supply and demand situation in the country. The delegation also wanted to know the infrastructure situation in the country.
Jogmec is a governmental agency whose mandate is to support that country's industrial activities by securing a stable supply of oil, natural gas, metal minerals and coal.