Tuesday, February 16, 2010

China Firm Set to Mine in Navosa

by Ifereimi Nadore

Fiji Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A CHINESE manganese smelting company will soon carry out exploratory work on potential manganese deposits in Nasaucoko in the upper-reaches of Navosa.

China Yunnan Metallurgical Company (CYMCO) will carry out exploration worth $5million in the next three years.

The NLTB has granted a 30-year surface lease to Viti Mining Limited which is exploring in the area.

Viti Mining CEO John Sanday, who is in China to negotiate with CYMCO, said with the approval of their lease, mining is expected to start next month.

For the past year Viti Mining has been exploring for manganese at Vorovorobitu Mine in Nasaucoko which also involved the landowners.

CYMCO officials visited in December and met the Director of Mines and FTIB officials.

Mr Sanday said CYMCO officials were impressed with the manganese ore grade in Fiji.

He said he was impressed with the company's emission control technology, particularly on how it removed ash and dust. "By the end of the year it will be the biggest manganese smelting company in China and in a couple of years it will be the biggest in the world with an output exceeding one million tonnes of manganese ferroalloy per year," he said. said.

He said the company was also willing to all their production of manganese ore at market prices.

Mr Sanday added that VML's Environmental Impact Assessment Report was currently being reviewed by the Department of Environment which should complete its work soon.

He said the NLTB was supportive of the project for it wanted to involve the mataqali Nakorosoi in the commercial aspects of the mine.

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