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Fiji Time: 1:59 PM on Saturday 19 April

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$13.2m investment

Luke Rawalai
Friday, February 14, 2014

NEWCREST Exploration Fiji Limited may spend about $13.2million if it is awarded a three-year special prospecting licence (SPL) by the Mineral Resources Department.

In a statement, Newcrest's country manager Greg Morris said they had been formally advised by the department of its intention to grant the company a special prospecting licence to begin exploration.

Mr Morris said the area would include Mount Kasi mine in Cakaudrove.

"Newcrest is in discussions with the MRD in regards to the conditions to be attached to the SPL, including the treatment of the historical legacy issues associated with the previous mining operations and related infrastructure," he said.

"We will continue to work with the government to ensure all historical legacy issues are fully understood prior to commencing any exploration activities.

"Following the successful completion of these discussions and potentially, some on the ground studies to assess historical legacy issues, exploration activities can then commence."

Mr Morris said the exploration phase would include community engagement, environmental baseline studies, geological mapping and geophysical survey in preparation for drilling.

"The SPL will allow Newcrest to carry out exploration works only and it does not involve reopening the Mt Kasi mine.

"Newcrest's long term goal is to find enough gold to sustain a long-life mining operation in the North

"Initial discussions have previously been held with landowners and other key stakeholders about the proposed exploration."