FIJI'S fully owned mining company Viti Mining Limited (VML) will soon be shipping out its first stockpile of high grade manganese ore to a new Australian buyer next month.
Company spokesman Simione Drole said they would ship out once they hit the 1000-tonne mark.
The company, which was set up in 2007 but did not begin mining until 2012 at its Vorovorobitu manganese mine in Nasaucoko, Navosa, hopes to secure a long-term contract with the new Australian buyer.
"Mining activity slowed down from November when the rainy season started and we are ramping up again as the wet season comes to an end," Mr Drole said.
"We are currently focusing on manganese and will definitely expand to other minerals once the manganese operation is well established."
The mine is situated on land owned by the mataqali Nakorosoi of Nasaucoko Village which has benefited from the project through the surface lease, the employment or 25 people, the provisions of scholarships to mataqali members studying at FNU and USP and the electric wiring of mataqali members' houses.