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MINING High risk, controversial business

On Viti Levu, the areas marked with shaded red are all prospective mining areas where 55 companies are currently carrying out works to see what minerals or metals can be found. The major player in the Namosi area is going to be Newcrest Mineral Investment who are prospecting in Waimaro, Veivatuloa, Namosi, Wainikoroiluva, Serua and Nuku. The company’s website says exploration activities at Namosi are currently focused on the large Waisoi copper-gold deposit, the mineralised Waivaka Corridor and a portfolio of early stage exploration targets.

Waisoi consists of two deposits, Waisoi East and Waisoi West. Newcrest has a license until 31st March 2020. Most of the prospectors’ license (in areas marked shaded red) is for precious metals and metalliferous minerals.

The Mineral Recourses Department says exploration work has revealed many areas showing potential for mineral deposits, adding these areas, now referred to as prospects. The Department says it needs further investigations to prove or otherwise of their true potential for future mining activities, which these 53 companies are doing currently.

The solid green areas are the Vatukoula Gold Mines, the largest producing gold mine in Fiji. They have been in operations for 75 year and have produced in excess of 7 million ounces of gold. The company website reveals the gold mine currently contains 4.1 million ounces of mineral resources and 750000 ounces of mineral reserves. Vatukoula Gold Mines – hey have a license to mine until 21st March 2025.

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