Australian Mining Company Gets Iron Sand Exploration License In Fiji

Magma Mines to search Singatoka River bed for minerals

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Oct. 18, 2016) – An Australian company has been granted a mineral exploration licence covering more than 2522 hectares or 25.22 square kilometres near the mouth of the Sigatoka River.

[PIR editor's note: On Oct. 18, 2016 Fiji Times reported that 'About 100 new jobs could be created if Magma Mines Ltd's iron sand exploration project near the Sigatoka River mouth proves to be feasible. ... CEO Jack McCarthy said locals from surrounding villages were involved in the initial exploration works and more employment opportunities were on offer if the site proved to be sustainable for a full-fledged iron-sand extraction project.']

Mineral Resources director Raijeli Taga said Magma Mines Ltd, a subsidiary of Dome Gold Mines, has been given a licence to explore the river bed largely for iron sand.

"As such, it is not yet a mining project but it is an advanced mineral exploration project," she said.

"The project is at the pre-feasibility stage whereby the company undertakes preliminary studies to ascertain whether it could progress to feasibility stage.

"At the said stage the study will demonstrate the economic feasibility of the proposal and certainty of reaching mine development phase.

"The company has undertaken an environment impact assessment of the whole area of the exploration and have carried out consultations with involved stakeholders from the public and also from regulatory agencies. Approval has been given by the Department of Environment."

[PIR editor's note: On Oct. 18, 2016 Fiji Times reported that 'Despite assurances by the parent company of a mining project near the mouth of the Sigatoka River that environment impacts would be minimal, some residents remain concerned. ... Robert Kennedy, a member of the Western Division development committee said people needed to understand all the implications of the proposed project.']

Ms Taga said work on the mineral exploration project has not commenced because of on-going discussions with the Agriculture Ministry's Land and Water Resources Management Division about proposed dredging of the Sigatoka River.

Fiji Times Online.
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