Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (Jogmec) will offer more of its technologies and experiences to Zimbabwe, in a move aimed at attracting investment from Japanese mining companies.
Jogmec works as an advisor for Japanese mining companies, with a view to secure their safe and stable activities in mining sectors outside Japan.
Speaking at meeting on sustainable development of mineral resources for the mining sector in Zimbabwe held yesterday in Harare, Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Yoshi Hiraishi said the technical support would contribute to sustainable exploitation of minerals in Zimbabwe.
“I firmly believe that the Japanese accumulated experiences and vast technical know-how in mining can greatly contribute to the sustainable and environmentally friendly exploitation of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The active involvement of Jogmec in mining sector will hopefully, attract Japanese companies’ attention, which may lead to investment in Zimbabwe’s mining sector by Japanese mining companies in the future.”
Japan depends on foreign sources for many minerals essential to its modern industry like iron ore, coke, copper and bauxite.
Jogmec currently has five projects running in the country under its technical corporation programme that involves a transfer of researching technologies to government on sustainable exploitation of minerals.
This was made possible by a memorandum of understanding agreement signed in September 2015. The agreement allowed the transfer of the geographic information systems (satellite image analysis) techniques and remote sensing know-how to Zimbabwean geologists.
A director in the Mines and Mining Development ministry, John Makandwa, said Zimbabwe was yet to use modern technology.
“Zimbabwe is under explored and yet to experience application of modern exploration technologies. Also, considering its highly prospective geology, the country has huge investment opportunities in the exploration and mine development,” he said.
“Government is reviving exploration through the Mining Promotion Corporation to augment private sector efforts.”
For any Japanese mining company wishing to invest in Zimbabwe, Jogmec will get 25% tax rates and royalties on gold worth 5%, diamonds 15%, base metals 2% and coal 1%.
The country’s low exploration is due to the negative perception of investing in Zimbabwe, due to government policies, which scare investors.
The mining sector is capital intensive and local banks are not offering long term capital, leaving offshore funding as the only available option. The situation has been compounded by the low commodity prices on the world market threatening the viability of resources-driven economies.