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$2.6m load

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, February 08, 2018

THE first shipment of bauxite this year, worth $2.6 million, is being loaded in Bua bound for China.

In total, bauxite has raked in $54.8m since mining started in 2010 on Vanua Levu.

Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources acting director Apete Soro confirmed the total bauxite tonnage of 57,960 was being loaded at the Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd's Navakasiga jetty in Bua.

"This is the first shipment this year," he said.

"The value of the bauxite varies according to the global market prices of the particular mineral or commodity and the price is calculated at the time of sale.

"For this shipment, it is calculated to be about $2,666,160, subject to rate changes."

Mr Soro said the export situation would always fluctuate.

"It will always depend on the above and the buyer's demand for the commodity.

"With the bauxite in Fiji, there is a consistent buyer that buys from XINFA Mining," he said.

The bauxite is being loaded on a barge, which is then transported to a mother ship that anchors out at sea.

By June last year, total export of bauxite from Fiji raked in $52.2m and with the inclusion of this year's shipment, total income stands at $54.8m.

Since 2015 to this year, this shipment of bauxite will be the fourth, with one shipment of bauxite for each year.

In 2015, this newspaper reported that Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd (XINFA Mining) had exported 1.2 million tonnes of bauxite worth $48m from Bua. In August 2016, the company exported 69,000 tonnes of bauxite valued at $1.4m.

Last year, Fiji exported only one shipment of bauxite valued at $2.8m.

Bauxite is used for aluminium production.

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