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Tuvatu Gold Expected to Get Further $140m

Tuvatu Gold Expected to Get Further $140m
Works at the Tuvatu Gold Project in the upper Sabeto Valley.
February 10
11:00 2018

Lion One Metals expects to invest a further $140 million into its Tuvatu Gold Project by the end of 2019.

This is in addition to the initial $100 million the com­pany invested into starting the project as they aim to be­come the premier high grade gold producer in Fiji.

The Canadian company’s general manager Stephan Mann said apart from the $140 million additional to be spent on development, the company would also continue exploring its tenements holding in the Sabeto Valley to ensure the mine will operate for a long time into the future.

Lion One Metals holds a 200 square km exploration license package covering the entire Navilawa volcano, with the Tuvatu mining lease at its centre.

“Lion One also contributes funds to vari­ous community projects, and currently em­ploys all local staff,” said Mr Mann.

Best practices

He also said building a new gold mine to international best practices required con­siderable funds to ensure the project was at the appropriate standard from an environ­mental and safety point of view, and well as economically viable.

The Tuvatu Gold Project sits in the Navil­awa volcano, in the upper reaches on the Sabeto mountain range and looking down over Nadi Airport.

“The development of the Tuvatu gold mining project is moving along steadily,” Mr Mann said.

“The company has been, and remains very active in its exploration activi­ties to ensure it identifies further resources so any mining operation will be running a long time into the future.

“The company is hoping to develop a very long term mining operation which will benefit all the people of Fiji for a long time to come.

“In relation to its development activities, the company has commenced civil earth­works for the area which will contain the process plant and surface infrastructure.

“This includes upgrades of roads and bridges throughout the area.”

Mr Mann said the company has also dewa­tered the pre-existing exploration decline into the ore body so it was able to drill, sample and geologically map the gold min­eralisation.

“Lion One has a large tenement area to explore for gold and other minerals in the Sabeto Valley.

“Within that area, it also has a 384 hectare mining licence, within which it can mine for minerals,” he said.

“In actual fact, some of the delays to the project are due to changes made to the pro­posed mining operation to ensure that Lion One’s Tuvatu Gold Mine is built to the highest international standards.”

The mining operation has not commenced as of now and the company does not expect the first shipment of gold until early 2020.

About new ventures

Mr Mann said every new mining venture en­countered obstacles now and again, and Tuva­tu was no different.

“The company has spent a lot of time de-risk­ing the project to ensure it will abide by the highest safety and environmental standards, and it will be economically operational long into the future.

“This means that the company has to be pro­active in identifying problems before they are encountered and address them early in the pro­cess.

“The company is very grateful of the support of the community, landowners, Government departments and other stakeholders, all of whom have helped ensure that any potential problem can be addressed as soon as possible.”

The company currently employs almost 50 lo­cal staff members and has no resident expatri­ate staff.

“When the operation is commissioned and commences gold production late in 2019, the company will have around 250 local employees.

“Additional to that, the company contracts a lot of its work to local companies, and as such, the company will have direct and indirect workforce of in excess of 2500 people.”

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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