Japan and Namibia join forces to unveil rare earth minerals exploration


Japan and Namibia, two nations with a common goal of advancing their economies through exploration and extraction of rare earth minerals, have recently joined forces to embark on an exciting venture.

With the increasing demand for these valuable resources, which are vital in the production of various high-tech devices like smartphones and electric vehicles, both countries have recognized the need for collaboration in order to enhance their capabilities in this domain.

The Japan Organization for Metals and Energy Security will be partnering with Namibia’s state-owned mining company, Epangelo, on this exploration mission.

The signing of the pact between Japan and Namibia took place in Windhoek and represents a significant step toward developing a robust supply chain for essential battery minerals, such as cobalt. While specific details regarding the agreement have not been disclosed, this move aligns with Japan’s broader strategic framework to reduce its reliance on China by establishing an African supply chain of critical minerals.

Japan and Namibia join forces to unveil rare earth minerals exploration
Japan and Namibia join forces to unveil rare earth minerals exploration.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry, is at the forefront of this initiative. As part of his African tour, Nishimura is visiting five nations, including Namibia, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which are known for their rich deposits of rare earth minerals. The primary goal of this mission is to ensure a steady and secure supply of critical minerals for Japan’s growing electric vehicle industry.

Rare earth minerals play a vital role in the production of various high-tech devices, including smartphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. These minerals are essential for the magnets used in electric vehicle motors, as well as for the production of energy-efficient lighting systems and advanced electronic components. As the demand for electric vehicles continues to rise worldwide, so does the need for a sustainable and reliable supply of rare earth minerals.

By partnering with Namibia, a country known for its abundant rare earth deposits, Japan aims to diversify and strengthen its supply chain. The exploration mission will focus on identifying and extracting these valuable minerals in an environmentally responsible manner. This partnership will not only benefit Japan but also contribute to the economic development of Namibia by creating employment opportunities and fostering long-term cooperation between the two nations.

Japan and Namibia join forces to unveil rare earth minerals exploration
Japan and Namibia join forces to unveil rare earth minerals exploration.

China’s dominant control over battery mineral supplies has raised concerns among advanced economies. Tokyo’s decision to collaborate with African nations demonstrates its dedication to diversifying sources and ensuring a consistent flow of these vital resources.

This isn’t Japan’s first venture in Namibia. JOGMEC is already partnered with Namibia Critical Metals Inc. to harness the potential of the Lofdal deposit located in northwestern Namibia. This site has garnered attention for its abundant reserves of yttrium, as well as promising reserves of dysprosium and terbium – two exceedingly rare and valuable heavy rare earth elements. These minerals play a crucial role in the production of permanent magnets found in electric vehicle batteries and wind turbines.

By joining forces, Japan and Namibia further solidify their positions within the global market for rare earth minerals. Last year, Namibia secured a deal to supply the European Union with these essential minerals.

The collaboration between Japan and Namibia could prove revolutionary in the electric vehicle and renewable energy sectors. As global demand for electric vehicles continues to grow, establishing a reliable supply chain becomes imperative for countries looking to transition towards cleaner energy alternatives.

Ericson Mangoli
Ericson Mangoli is the founder and Managing Editor of Who Owns Africa, a platform for African journalism that focuses on politics, governance, and business. With a passion for truth and a dedication to highlighting pressing issues in Africa, Mangoli has become a significant voice in the field. He embarked on this journey after graduating with a degree in communications and realizing his true calling was in investigative reporting and shedding light on untold stories.  Who Owns Africa provides thought-provoking articles, in-depth analyses, and incisive commentary to help people understand the complexities of the region. Mangoli is committed to impartiality and ethical reporting, setting high standards for his team. His vision for the platform is to foster critical thinking and promote informed discussions that have a positive impact on African society. Mangoli is known for his eloquent and insightful writing which tackles pressing issues in Africa. His articles cover a range of topics including political corruption, economic development, fostering international partnerships, and African governance. He sheds light on the complexities of these subjects and empowers readers to engage in conversations for positive change. Mangoli's coverage of African politics analyzes the factors that drive change and hinder progress, while his reporting on governance advocates for stronger institutions and policies. Additionally, he explores the challenges and opportunities facing African businesses and inspires readers to contribute to Africa's economic growth.


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