Driving sustainable investment in African Mining

JOGMEC participated in MI24 and conducted a public-private mission in the DRC

25 Mar 2024 | Event News | Market News

Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) participated in African Mining Indaba 2024, the largest mining convention in Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, to further strengthen relations with African countries.

Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) participated in African Mining Indaba 2024, the largest mining convention in Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, to further strengthen relations with African countries.

JOGMEC held a JOGMEC session and booth exhibition, while attending the meetings between Mr. Taku Ishii, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and ministers from African countries and other countries, to have concrete discussions in the course of strengthening relations. In addition, Mr. Ishii had a meeting with Hon. Antoinette N'SAMBA KALAMBAYI, Minister of Mines of the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with Japanese companies during the convention.  Afterwards, the delegation including 7 Japanese companies as well as government organizations, with Mr. Ishii as a head of the delegation,conducted site visit at a smelter and a copper mine in the DRC.

1. African Mining Indaba 2024

As the global focus on critical minerals increases, the presence of African countries rich in mineral resources is becoming increasingly important. In African Mining Indaba 2024 held from February 5 to 8, 2024, there were 9,000 (1,500 more than last year) governmental and corporate participants related to mining. JOGMEC hosted sessions and exhibited a booth to introduce Japan's initiatives in Africa.

JOGMEC Session (left) and Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr. Ishii (right)


● JOGMEC Session

Themed "New Paradigm / Sustainable Development of Mineral Resources", the presentations
introduced the efforts of the Japanese government and Japanese companies to build resilient supply chains for critical minerals.

At the opening remarks, Mr. Hajime Wakuda, President of JOGMEC, stated that investment in the resources in African countries is necessary to secure metal mineral resources and that JOGMEC hopes to further strengthen relations with African countries by strengthening support for human resource development, exploration, and support for Japanese companies’ investment.

In his speech, Mr. Taku Ishii, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, emphasized the importance of a win-win relationship with African countries through promoting Japanese investment in promising projects in Africa and supporting human resource development in the mining industry in African countries and more, in order to secure the critical mineral supply chains necessary for the energy transition toward the net-zero as the Japanese government.

Next, Tsutomu Aoki, Vice President, GX Division, Battery Metal Resource Department, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, Inc. (PPES), introduced the company's efforts to cooperate with African countries rich in mineral resources throughout the supply chain connecting mines and automobile manufacturers with sustainable development in mind.

Then, Mr. Kenta Saito, General Manager, Base Metals Division, Mineral & Metals Resources 
Business Unit, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. argued that Africa will serve important role in the face of rising global demand for copper, and presented the company's specific initiatives in Africa.

Lastly, Mr. Kazuhiro Kuno, Senior Councilor of JOGMEC closed the session expressing his hope that today's session would further strengthen the relationship between African countries and Japan.

● JOGMEC Booth Exhibition

The four-day booth exhibition showcased various aspects related to JOGMEC’s activity in Africa: exploration projects in Africa, financial assistance projects for Japanese companies, and the Botswana Geologic Remote Sensing Centre (hereafter referred to as the Center), which celebrated its 15th anniversary since its establishment. The booth covered topics such as capacity building and collaborative geological surveys with African countries based in the Center. It garnered interest from numerous participants. Notably, there were moments when African individuals who had received training at the Center paused in front of nostalgic photos. Additionally, the event served as a platform for in-depth discussions between highly specialized organization staff and participants.

● Bilateral Metings with Governments

JOGMEC attended meetings between Mr. Ishii, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, and ministers and government officials from African and other countries. During the meeting with Hon. Paul Kabuswe, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development of the Republic of Zambia, both parties confirmed that the two countries would proceed with coordination toward the invitation of Hon. Kabuswe to Japan in April 2024. Afterwards, the Zambian side stated willingess to further strengthen the relations between the two countries in the field of mineral resources, and also expressed their appreciation for the long-standing cooperation with JOGMEC in exploration.

During the meeting with Hon. Dr. Steven Kiruswa, Deputy Minister of Minerals of the United Republic of Tanzania, both parties exchanged views on the potential of mineral resources such as nickel and the possibility of future cooperation. During the meeting, Hon. Dr. Kiruswa expressed his expectations regarding the use of the latest technologies such as AI. Also present at the meeting was a person who received training at the Center. 

In a meeting with Hon. Dr. Nobuhle Nkabane, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources,Republic of South Africa expressed their interest in JOGMEC's human resource development and desire to continue that relationship, as well as their appreciation for the mining projects in which JOGMEC participates.

With Undersecretary Mr. Jose Fernandez of the United States, potential cooperation in the mining sector was discussed. During the meeting, he welcomed the conclusion of the MOU between JOGMEC and GECAMINES in November 2023 (Note 1), and offered support to specific efforts to establish a new supply chain.

The meeting with Mr. Benjamin Gaezo, Interministerial Representative of Strategic Mineral and Metal Resource Supplies of France, confirmed the continuation of bilateral cooperation on critical minerals and in particular to promote the exchange of information on the critical minerals supply chain between JOGMEC and OFREMI (French Observatory of Mineral Resources for Industrial Sector).

2. Public-Private Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (hereafter referred to as DRC)

On February 6, 2024, JOGMEC, with METI, had a meeting with Ministry of Mines of the DRC in 
Indaba venue. Then from February 7 to 9, JOGMEC, with METI conducted a public-private mission in the DRC, with 29 participants, including Mr. Ishii, Mr. Hidetoshi Ogawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the DRC, Mr. Hajime Wakuda, President of JOGMEC and 12 leaders from 7 companies in Japan.


Group Photo with the Ministry of Mines, DRC

● Meeting with the Ministry of Mines, DRC

As part of the public-private mission, JOGMEC with METI had a meeting with the government of the DRC during the African Mining Indaba 2024.

On the DRC side, Hon. Antoinette N'SAMBA KALAMBAYI participated and the Mr. Ishii, Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry headed the Japanese delegation consisting METI, JOGMEC, and 5 Japanese companies. The participants were provide information on the country’s mineral resource potential and mining investment and exchanged 
opinion related to the mining investment in the country with the Minister, thereby deepening their understanding.

On the MOU (Note 1) signed in November 2023 between JOGMEC and GECAMINES, a commercial mining company whose sole shareholder is the DRC state, the two parties agreed to accelerate efforts based on the MOU and to cooperate in formulating specific projects, with support from both the Japanese and Congolese governments.

● Visit to STL's Smelter

The group visited the smelter of STL in Lubumbashi, DRC, a subsidiary of GECAMINES. From Japan, a total of 29 delegates participated in the visit, including Mr. Ishii, Parliamentary Secretary, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Mr. Hidetoshi Ogawa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the DRC, Mr. Wakuda, President of JOGMEC and 12 representatives from 7 companies in Japan.

At the site, after a briefing on the project and the safety, the participants inspected the electric furnace, stockyards, and wet processing facilities, followed by a question-and-answer session during which they engaged in a fruitful exchange of opinions. They also observed the manufacturing process of materials essential for advanced process, such as zinc oxide, copper anodes, and germanium concentrates.

Site-visit of the Refinery

● Visit to Ivanhoe Mines' Kamoa-Kakula Mine

On February 8 and 9, 2024, the group visited the Kamoa-Kakula mine, the Western Foreland project, and facilities for local residents operated by Ivanhoe Mines, in Kolwezi, DRC. During the visit, the engineers of Ivanhoe Mines gave explanations at each places and provided information on the mines actually in operation in the country, thus deepening their understanding of mining investment in the country.

Site-visit of Kamoa-Kakula Mine (Inside the Mine)

JOGMEC will continue to strengthen its relationship with African countries, governments of like-minded countries, and mineral resources companies active in Africa, and contribute to securing a stable supply of resources to Japan and the sustainable development of resource-rich countries in Africa.

(Note 1) MOU with GECAMINES (November 2023)

JOGMEC signed MOU with Ministry of Mines of the DRC, and has continued cooperation in the area of mineral resources exploration and human resources development. In August 2023, then Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura visited the DRC. JOGMEC President Takahara, who accompanied him, signed Scope of Work (SW) with the Ministry of Mines of the DRC, adding new areas of cooperation such as technical support for environmental monitoring in addition to cooperation in exploration. Consequently, in November 2023, an MOU is signed for cooperation in the field of mining and mineral resources with GECAMINES, the largest state-owned company in the business of exploration to production in the country's mining sector.

■ Reference

JOGMEC Signed an agreement with African countries to secure critical minerals - Strengthening relationships with African countries through accompanying Minister NISHIMURA on a visit to Southern African countries – (August 18, 2023)

(URL) https://www.jogmec.go.jp/english/news/release/news_10_00046.html
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