AUSTRALIAN mining firm Amex Resources Limited's intention to use barges instead of trucks to transport minerals from Ba to Lautoka has drawn praise from Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Lautoka Port on Thursday, the PM said Amex's decision to ferry iron sand from the Ba River delta to Lautoka was an initiative that other companies should explore.
"I'm very pleased to note that rather than using trucks to transport the product from Ba to Lautoka — which would clog up the roads and damage them — the company will use barges, an innovative idea applauded by my government," he said.
"I hope other companies carting such heavy loads will follow Amex's example."
Amex Resources was granted a licence in 2011 to mine 132 square kilometres of the Ba River delta.
The company said indications were that the delta could have a mine life of 20 years and provide employment for 300 people.
MCC Overseas Ltd, an international engineering service company based in China and one of the top five mining facility construction companies in the world, has been granted a contract from Amex to undertake works at the Lautoka Port.