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Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe met with Mozambique president Armando Guebuza in Maputo on Sunday January 12 at a Mozambique-Japan investment forum to sign the agreement, sources told Steel First on Monday.
Japan already has a significant footprint in Mozambique, with conglomerate Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal (NSSMC) holding coking coal mining rights in the country’s coal-rich Tete province, and Japanese government bodies providing $84 million for the development of Mozambique’s Nacala port.
Tete province boasts some of the world’s largest reserves of high-grade coking coal, used in the steelmaking process.
Mining majors Vale and Rio Tinto have both developed extensive mining operations in the province, but exports from the region have been hampered by infrastructure issues.
Japan has pledged 70 billion yen ($672 million) of aid to help develop Mozambique’s coal and gas sectors over the next five years.