HIGH QUALITY MANGANESE FOUND ON FIJI’S VITI LEVU

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Mining company promises to hire 150 workers

By Ifereimi Nadore

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 27, 2008) - Villagers in the upper reaches of Navosa will soon benefit from the spin-offs of manganese mining to be fully operational soon.

This followed the completion of exploration work carried out by locally-owned company, Viti Mining Limited.

The exploration work, which began in 2004, will cover a landmass of 75,000 hectares covering the South Western side of Viti Levu.

Viti Mining Limited chief executive officer John Sanday said the manganese market looked promising despite the economic climate. "It must be noted that manganese was the fourth largest export earner in the 1950s but it was shut down when the world market collapsed," said Mr. Sanday.

He said there was tremendous potential of manganese with very high quality found lately in Vunamoli in Nadi and Nasaucoko.

He said the company was still waiting for the final approval of the Mineral Resources Department before it embarked on mining and exportation.

Sanday said three companies from China and one from Australia have shown keen interest in a joint venture proposal which were yet to be finalized.

He said the Environment Department also conducted its assessment on its environment impact which had been conveyed to the landowners.

Sanday said the company had been employing members of the Mataqali Nakabacake and Nakorosoi and also provided training in exploration techniques.

"We are looking at employing more than 150 people to be represented from all the landowning units involved," said Sanday.

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