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FIJI’S VATUKOULA GOLD MINE INCREASES OUTPUT 30,000 ounces a 39 percent jump last year

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 5, 2010) – In Fiji, MINING activity at the Vatukoula Gold Mine increased in the months to November last year producing a total of 29,703 ounces of gold.

This indicated a 38.7 percent increase in production over the corresponding period in 2008.

Recent data obtained by the Reserve Bank of Fiji from Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited (VGML) revealed that the upgrading of plant, machinery and equipment by VGML, as well as the new venture into surface mining, contributed to the sector's positive performance.

In September last year, the company announced it had begun the surface mining and treatment of near surface oxidized gold mineralization, and had begun a 10 hole diamond drilling exploration program near the Korowere hill.

In its report released last month, all 10 holes had been drilled and it reported that initial drilling intersected multiple mineralized structures around old surface operations.

The report said that success in these investigations would lead to a review of all Vatukoula's leases in the wider region for potential oxidized mineralization and its possible inclusion for the mine's long-term plan.

Vatukoula Gold Mine chief executive David Paxton said in that report: "We are pleased with the results of the oxide ore exploration to date."

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