India has approved to export rare earth minerals to Japan, Japanese and Indian government sources have said.
Japan’s (Kyodo) news agency said on Thursday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to export minerals to Japan could be signed between India’s Department of Atomic Energy and The Japanese Governmet during a scheduled state visit next week by India’s Prime Minister ManMohan Singh to Japan.
Japan has been dependent on exports of China’s minerals in their industries but trying to cut down imports from China upon the Senkaku Islands disputes.
Japanese trading house Toyota Tsusho Corp. and a state-owned Indian company have been working on a joint project to refine rare earth minerals in India and export them to Japan, Japan’s NHK radio said.
A test operation at a plant in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh will begin next month, and exports to Japan will start as early as next year.
The plant is expected to produce about 2,500 tons of the metals yearly, which makes up around 10 percent of Japan’s total imports.