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Mining headway

Geraldine Panapasa
Thursday, February 21, 2013

MINING operations in Nawailevu are progressing well with the company completing six shipments totalling 349,665 tonnes of bauxite to China worth $10.77million.

And while the Nawailevu bauxite mine and Vatukoula goldmine continue to produce steady outputs, Mineral Resources Department director Malakai Finau said test work was conducted at Asia Pacific Resources Limited in Wainivesi.

"The mining lease to Amex Resources Limited for the Ba Delta has just been granted last year and currently the company is developing infrastructure and facilities prior to their operation," he said yesterday.

"The Vatukoula Gold Mine Limited (VGML) operations is making a steady progress despite the inherent problems of ageing infrastructure and equipment considering the fact that this mine has been in operation for the past 50 years

"Gold and silver production at VGML during 2011 was 0.75 million ounces (M/ozs) valued at $150.8million.

"For the period up to August 2012, gold produced was 0.315 M/ozs while silver was 7516 ozs with a total value of $91m."

The mining lease for Asia Pacific Resources was granted in 2006, he said, for mining of copper, silver, zinc and some gold.

Mr Finau said the company faced some difficulty with setting up a modern mill and processing plant, which later resulted in its slow progress.

"The company has now focused on gold mining as opposed to the other minerals (base metals)," he said.

"As for Amex Resources Limited, the mining lease was granted in June 2012 for a period of 21 years for the mining of magnetite sand from Ba Delta.

"There are four mining sites in the country — Vatukoula gold mine, Nawailevu bauxite mine in Bua, Wainivesi goldmine in Tailevu and Ba Delta iron sand in Ba.

"Only two of the mining sites are in production.

"The Wainivesi goldmine has not produced for some time and for the Ba Delta Iron Sands, the company is currently working on their port facility as a stockpile site."

Meanwhile, Mr Finau said the department was in its final stages of processing a permit to mine for Viti Mining Limited for manganese mining at Nasaucoko, Navosa.





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