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Large Sigatoka iron sands results a “game changer”: Dome

The Chair of Dome Gold Mines has told shareholders that additional drilling work and analysis at its Sigatoka site in Fiji has provided the “silver lining” in a difficult year.

“The iron sand deposit at Sigatoka is very large, with sufficient material on present indications to support mining for many years and generate a stable and substantial cash flow in the process,” Garry Lowder told shareholders at their AGM earlier this month.

“At Sigatoka, the Kulukulu South area contains a substantial deposit of iron sand with heavy mineral grades much higher than the average across the remainder of the deposit. And it includes a relatively small but significant resource of very high grade material, containing 48% heavy minerals, which is elevated above sea level and would be readily accessible for initial mining,” he said.

Iron sand with high heavy mineral content which can be extracted and used for the production of iron and steel.

Dome is calling the discovery a “game changer” but the announcement is likely to concern opponents to the operations. They include incoming SODELPA leader, Viliame Gavoka, who  unsucessfully sought to table a petition for parliamentary debate earlier this year, claiming the project could displace riverbank communities and deprive landowners of their ancestral fishing resources. SODELPA is Fiji’s largest opposition party.

At that time, Lowder claimed the project would actually have environmental benefits, including mitiating the chronic flooding of the Sigatoka river.

Meanwhile Lowder has told shareholders that Dome’s Namoli-Wainivau property remains a valuable asset “as it offers us the prospect of discovering a large copper-gold deposit, of porphyry type, that could attract keen interest from the world’s largest copper miners. Indeed, some have already expressed interest in the project.”

He says while its Ono island gold project had a disappointing first round of drilling, he believes “that this project will have its day when the industry gets back to some kind of normality.”

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