Vale looks to Japan for high tech exploration in Africa

Vale has signed an MOU with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Cooperation (JOGMEC) to enhance mutual co-operation as strategic partners, focusing on technology development for exploration of natural resources in Africa.  Vale and JOGMEC have agreed to discuss matters for sharing information gained at the Remote Sensing Centre to be established by JOGMEC, the Republic of Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in Gaborone, Botswana.
The purpose of the centre is to improve basic geological information on the SADC region by using Japanese techniques of remote sensing analysis, to upgrade the skills of technical experts in Africa and to establish a new centre for conducting remote sensing analysis and transferring applied techniques.

The project is agreed to last five years. The centre is expected to provide technical training using data provided by Japanese satellites such as ASTER and PALSAR and supplying the necessary equipment; implementing case studies in several mining and exploration areas; providing technical guidance to short-term experts on each core technique; providing training courses for participants from SADC and promoting seminars to disseminate knowledge of remote sensing techniques.

SADC, originally established in 1980, includes 14 countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Madagascar, Swaziland and Mauritius. The Secretariat is located in Gaborone.

Vale already has mineral exploration for commodities such as iron ore, manganese, nickel, copper, coal and diamond in five of the listed countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique.

JOGMEC was established in February 2004 and integrates the functions of the former Japan National Oil Corp, which was in charge of securing a stable supply of oil and natural gas, and the former Metal Mining Agency of Japan, which was in charge of ensuring a stable supply of nonferrous metal and mineral resources and implementing mine pollution control measures.