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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Japanese minister seeks licence for Nippon Steel in Mozambique

Sunday, 12 Feb 2012

The Japanese Deputy Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Mr Tadahiro Matsushita has asked the Mozambican government to speed up the granting of a coal mining concession in the western province of Tete to the Nippon Steel Corporation.

Mr Matsushita made this request on Wednesday, during an audience granted by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza.

Nippon Steel has been exploring for coal in Revobue, near the mining concessions granted to Vale of Brazil and Riversdale of Australia (which has now been taken over by Rio Tinto). Now it needs to replace the exploration licence with a licence for a mining concession. Nippon Steel hopes to begin effective mining by 2014.

Mr Matsushita told reporters after the audience that "In the meeting with President Guebuza we spoke of coal exploration in Tete, because there is a Japanese company working on prospection which wants a licence for a mining concession. I asked the President to grant the licence as quickly as possible.”

He added that "We don't just want to extract coal, but we also want to rehabilitate infrastructures, train Mozambican staff, and help generate employment, thus contributing to Mozambique's development.”

The list of infrastructures that Japan wants to rehabilitate includes the northern port of Nacala and the road links from Tete to Nacala.

As for natural gas, Mr Matsushita said Japan sees that Mozambique has great potential in this area, and we are going to negotiate so that in future we can implement projects. There are many Japanese companies that have shown an interest in natural gas.

In order to step up cooperation between the two countries in mineral resources, two high level Mozambican delegations will visit Japan later this month. The first, led by the Minister of Mineral Resources, Esperanca Bias, will travel to Japan next week.

(Sourced from

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