Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Japan team to explore mining opportunities in Zambia
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Wed 05 Feb. 2014, 14:00 CAT

JAPANESE parliamentary vice-minister of economy, trade and industry, Yashihiko Isozaki says his country will this year send a high-level dĀ­elegation to Zambia to explore mining opportunities in the country.

Speaking during a meeting with mines, energy and water development minister, Christopher Yaluma, on the sidelines of the ongoing 20th annual Investing in Africa Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa, Yashihiko said Japanese companies were showing interest in investing in Zambia's mineral resources.

He said Japan's four basic initiatives for Africa included resource investment promotion and infrastructure improvement, which involved dispatching fact-finding missions, human resource development and sustainable resource development through sharing legal experiences and technological developments in curbing mine pollution.

And Yaluma said Zambia needed Japanese assistance in areas, such as capacity building to sustain the mining industry, saying there was serious lack of it in both financial and human resource.

"That is why I feel elated on your pronouncement of sending a team to come and look at mining investment," he said. This is according to a statement issued by first secretary for press and public relations at Zambia's High Commission in South Africa, Patson Chilemba.

Yashihiko agreed with Yaluma, further saying that Japan was hoping to develop projects; working with trained Zambian engineers in unexplored areas such as oil and gas as well as mineral exploration.

Yaluma said Zambia was trying to move into a new direction where mining companies would not just focus on mining, but should consider addressing social needs of the communities they operated in, to which minister Isozaki affirmed.

Yashihiko also asked Yaluma for Zambia's support over the decision by Japan to run for the United Nations (UN) Security Council seat for non-permanent members in 2015.

Yaluma said he would bring the issue to the attention of foreign affairs minister, Wylbur Simusa and Cabinet.

Yaluma yesterday led the Zambian delegation, which included mines deputy minister, Richard Musukwa and deputy high commissioner to South African Joe Kaunda, during the official opening of the Indaba at Cape Town Convention centre. He was also expected to deliver a speech during the four-day event which had attracted thousands of delegates from across the globe.

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