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Fall in world price, decrease in shipment for XINFA Aurum

Fall in world price, decrease in  shipment for XINFA Aurum
The stockpile area for bauxite in Bua before it is shipped to China. Photo: Losirene Lacanivalu (file picture)
July 15
11:00 2017


AXINFA Aurum Exploration will continue with its mining operation in Bua in the Northern Division despite a drop in the global price of bauxite.

Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources Permanent Secretary Malakai Finau confirmed this saying that the mining company will continue normal operations to stockpile for later export when the commodity price improves.

Mr Finau said the low price is a contributing factor for the decreased shipment.

He revealed that the export of bauxite last year was also in decline due to low commodity price in China who is the primary buyer of the Fijian bauxite.

He said since the bauxite from Fiji is not of premium grade, it has to compete with bauxite from countries such as Australia, Mongolia and Indonesia which are of superior grade.

According to the to the first quarter of 2017 update from the Bauxite Index, the Chinese domestic alumina prices have fallen from recent highs in January, as supply was ramped up to take advantage of the higher prices.

“Subsequently, it assumed that the bauxite export would be very similar to 2016 unless the price improves,” Mr Finau said.

He said the recent ASX announcement had indicated that the Bauxite import will remain weak as China has suspended spot import for three months due to ample cheaper DOM (Days on Market) supply and Beijing had announce plans for winter cuts.

Mr Finau said low commodity prices will hit companies negatively, how it affects the company depends on how strong the company is to withstand such shocks.

“One of the things that the company does is to wait for the right time to trade its bauxite so that it will have better returns.

“Mining is a high risk business and subject to volatile changes in prices as this and companies are well aware of such risks and do their assessment and preparation prior to applying for a Mining Lease”.

How does this affect landowners?

Mr Finau said the effect on the landowners depends on how the landowners rely on the mining project.

He said the most recent visit to the mine indicates that this low price has not had much impact as part of the landowning community are also involved in the pine business and part in the mining project.

“The company is still on full operation and aims to continue processing the resources.”

He added that has been only one shipment of bauxite to China till  date which was in March 2017.


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