Find Mining expertise in Fiji
Mining and mineral production in Fiji contribute a small amount to the economy, although gold exports account for a sizeable amount of the country’s foreign trade earnings as the country’s third most valuable export (2012). In 2012 gold contributed 7.93% to all exports in the country. The country is located on the Pacific “Rim of Fire”, known as a location of significant porphyry copper-gold and epithermal gold deposits.
The Emperor Gold Mine, managed and owned by the Vatukoula Gold Mines Plc., is the country’s primary gold mine and has been extracting gold as far back as 1935. The mine closed briefly in 2006, to be reopened in 2008. Prior to its initial closure the mine produced a total of 220 metric tons of gold and 62 of silver.
In 2007 copper-gold deposits were discovered in joint exploratory venture between Nittetsu Mining, Mitsubishi Materials Corp and Newcrest Mining, 30 kilometres off the coast of Suva. The Namosi Joint Venture, as it is now known, was then thought to be one of the world’s largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits. In 2011 the group was licenced to explore further in the seas around Fiji.
Other mines of particular significance include the Tuvatu Gold Mine and the Mount Kasi Gold Mine, which reopened in 2013 when Newcrest Exploration was given licence to carrying out $13 million in exploration works over the next three years.
Recent employment figures for the extractives industry in Fiji are unavailable. However, according to the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics, the mining and quarrying industry employed 0.66% of the Fijian labour force in June 2006, equivalent to 2,154 workers – a significant increase from 1,899 in December 2005.
There are several locally operated quarrying companies in Fiji, the most notable of which is Fiji Industries Ltd and Standard Concrete Industries. Quarrying activities in the country mainly focus on the production of materials for construction including limestone, sand and gravel. In 2008, Standard Concrete Industries, the country’s largest supplier of ready mix concrete, concrete blocks and paving slabs, expanded its operation base with the establishment of a ‘super’ quarry in Nadi. The quarry is located at the base of the Sleeping Giant mountain range in Sabeto, and produces crushed stone from hard rock deposits.
The Department of Mineral Resources is responsible for the oversight and development of Fiji’s mineral and groundwater resources. The ministry is involved in research into geographical hazards, minerals and groundwater development, as well as managing the country’s mining and quarrying sector through several government-backed acts and regulations and granting licences for exploration.
The Mining Act of 1966 is currently under review by the government. The current act relates to the mining of precious metals and other minerals, and specifies that the ownership of minerals is vested in the state. According to the Mining Act, administrative control over mineral resources is the responsibility of the Director of Mineral Development under the direction of the Minister for Lands, Mineral Resources and Energy. The Mining Act further provides for the appointment of inspectors of mines.
Clay, gravel, sand and stone are not defined as ‘minerals’ under the Mining Act and as such come under the separate Quarries Act. This act provides for regulation of quarrying activities by inspectors of mines as appointed under the Mining Act. Regulation of quarries is the responsibility of the Minister for Mineral Resources, who is also the Minister for Lands, Mineral Resources and Energy.
Fiji is not currently EITI compliant.
|Mining and Minerals organisations in Fiji|
|Ministry of Lands & Mineral Resources||