BAUXITE mining company — Aurum Exploration (Fiji) Ltd — has ventured into sawmill business using a budget of about $5million.
Mine manager Basilio Vanuaca said the company purchased the sawmill at Savusavu last year and operations had so far been successful. He said they had employed about 100 people at the mill.
He said the idea of expanding business was to help employ more people on Vanua Levu as part of their give back to the community program.
"We concentrate on producing ply woods for the market overseas and we also work with locals through the purchase of logs and all these income goes back to the community and the local economy," Mr Vanuaca said. "The main drive behind expanding our business and for example, venturing into the timber industry is simply because we want to give back to the local economy which will benefit many.
"We have increased employment in the mill when we took over which simply means helping families of our workers and other people who depend on the mill for their income."
Mr Vanuaca reiterated the heartbeat of the company was to give back to the community to improve living standards.
"We have ongoing community work not only in Bua but in Savusavu as well and we have also sponsored jerseys for rugby teams," he said.
"These are some ways we help fund the community's needs which, in some cases, maybe too costly."