South Africa and Japan on Wednesday concluded a cooperation agreement in mining at the annual Investing in African Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and his counterpart, Hiroshige Seko, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, signed a cooperation agreement in mining, a bilateral tool to assist the two countries to collaborate in a number of areas across the mining value chain.
The areas of cooperation would include exploration and the creation of geoscientific knowledge; reciprocal investments in South Africa and Japan – based on mineral value chain integration; skills development; environmental issues; research and development; and clean coal technology.
“With the agreement, the two countries acknowledge that Japan, as an important consumer and investor, and South Africa, as a supplier of minerals and most importantly, a key participant in the mineral beneficiation value chain, have complementary interests in mining,” Zwane said.
“Our country cannot grow exclusively on the back of supplying raw minerals to other nations. It is in this context that we wish to invite Japanese companies to invest in South Africa’s downstream mineral development industries, effectively manufacturing and beneficiation as well as production of goods and supply of requisite services.”
Japan remains a major trading partner for South Africa, with about 140 companies active in the country and more than 150 000 jobs created.
Japan imports 100 percent of almost all base metals and minor metals from overseas, mostly in Africa, which are essential for its continued dominance in the car manufacturing industry and the electrical appliances industry.
Zwane also said that the agreement would serve to strengthen the positive and long-standing political and economic ties to create mutually beneficial economic relations.