Namibia and Japan Sign Rare Earths Agreement

by | 9. Aug 2023 - 11:07 | Economy

Joint raw materials exploration to strengthen independence from China and promote local value chains.

Japan and Namibia plan to jointly explore rare earths to strengthen the supply of critical minerals for technologies such as electromobility and renewable energy. In the future, Japan’s government-owned Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security (JOGMEC) and Namibia’s state-owned mining company Epangelo plan to work together. An agreement was signed in Namibia’s capital Windhoek Tuesday, Reuters writes. JOGMEC is already working with Namibia Critical Metals on the development of the Lofdal deposit in northwestern Namibia. The deposit is considered rich in yttrium, which is for example used in alloys and other heavy rare earths such as dysprosium and terbium.

As we reported, Japan wants to establish a value chain for important raw materials in Africa to become less dependent on imports from China and to counter the investments of the People’s Republic in African countries. To achieve this, Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, is currently visiting five countries there with large raw material deposits, in addition to Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, and Zambia. Meanwhile, Namibia recently imposed a ban on the export of unprocessed raw materials to benefit from the global increase in demand and to promote the further processing of raw materials locally. The African country entered a partnership with the EU in November on critical minerals and green hydrogen.

Photo: iStock/fivepointsix

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