Loan for Abra Lead Mine Development Project in Australia
Supporting Japanese Company’s Long-term and Stable Procurement of Lead Concentrate
- Region: Oceania
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Overseas Investment Loans
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Tadashi Maeda) signed today a loan agreement, amounting up to JPY2,500 million (JBIC portion), with Toho Zinc Co., Ltd. (Toho Zinc) for the development of the Abra lead mine, which is located in the state of Western Australia, Australia. The loan is co-financed with private financial institutions.
The loan is intended to provide necessary long-term capital for the development of the Abra lead mine. Development will be undertaken by CBH Resources Limited, an Australian subsidiary of Toho Zinc, through investment in Abra Mining Pty Limited (AMPL), also in Australia. Toho Zinc will own 40% interest in AMPL, and offtake the equivalent proportion of lead concentrate produced, which it plans to supply to refineries in Japan.
One trait of lead is its corrosion-resistance. In addition, given that lead is easy for refineries to process, it has long been used for a diverse range of applications. In recent years, it has become an indispensable metal resource for Japan, for example automobile batteries including electric car batteries. Demand for lead is expected to continue to increase in tandem with a rise in global automobile production.
Since Japan relies solely on imports for lead concentrates, it is significant to secure a long-term, stable supply of lead resources. The Strategic Energy Plan (released in July 2018) set the goal of achieving at least 80% self-sufficiency for base metals by 2030. This project supports the additional development of a lead mine in which Japanese companies hold interests and, as such, is in line with the Japanese government's policies.
- As Japan's policy-based financial institution, JBIC will continue to actively support Japanese companies' development and procurement of mineral resources and provide financing to ensure a stable mineral resources supply to Japan by drawing on its various financial facilities and schemes for structuring projects and performing its risk-assuming function.