31 May 2013

Malawi: Japanese Firm Commits to Rare Earth Exploration in Malawi

Yokohama — Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) has re-affirmed its commitment to transfer technology and know -how in order to leave a lasting legacy in Malawi as a nation.

"We are already on the ground in Malawi doing explorations in Mulanje, Thyolo, Lake Chirwa and Mangochi on Rare Earth which has key elements for manufacturing of batteries among other things," said Hideyuki Ueda, Executive Director of Metals Strategy and Exploration at JOGMEC after holding a bilateral meeting with President Joyce Banda in Yokohama -Japan on Friday.

Ueda stated that his meeting with President Dr. Joyce Banda was very significant as it dwells much on exploration of Rare Earth in Malawi as mining was one of the government's priorities.

In his remarks, Minister of Industry and Trade Sosten Gwengwe explained that the mineral exploration being carried out in Mulanje, Mangochi and Thyolo on the Rare Earth Metal Project has reached an advanced stage and that many Malawians have already started benefitting through employment.

"Malawi's geologists are also actively involved in the project thereby enhancing their skills and knowledge, courtesy of the Japanese Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation," said Gwengwe.

He said the key thing that came out of the meeting is the technology transfer that they are very much after in order to leave a lasting legacy which is the Japanese technological transfer and technical know- how.

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) was established in 2004 as an incorporated administrative agency established by the Japanese Government to maintain a stable supply of natural resources and energy to Japan through exploration in Africa.

In July 2008, JOGMEC established a Remote Sensing Satellite Station in Botswana. The centre was established to transfer remote sensing technology to SADC countries in areas of mineral prospecting and exploration.

In July 2010, the Malawi Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with JOGMEC after which joint mineral explorations projects have been conducted and capacity building has also taken place which has seen technology transfer from JOGMEC to Malawi.

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