Business

$4m spent on Fijian research: Koreans

RANOBA BAOA SUVA A Korean mining and exploration company granted three research and exploration license for deep sea minerals here says it has spent up to $4 million in the
30 Jul 2014 10:33

RANOBA BAOA
SUVA

A Korean mining and exploration company granted three research and exploration license for deep sea minerals here says it has spent up to $4 million in the exercise since it started.
KIOST Minerals (South Pacific) Limited was granted this license in 2011 by Government through the Department of Mineral Resources.
KIOST Minerals director/secretary Jang Bang said Fiji has big potential in mining which was evident by the company’s interest to explore. Its license expires in 2017.
“For the past two years, we’ve been doing exploration works and we have found seafloor massive sulfide deposits or SMS deposits,” Mr Bang.
He said the first stage currently was exploration in the 1700 square-kilometres in the North of Fiji’s Basin within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“The first one will be exploration of the potential areas. The second stage is where we’ll put in remote-operated vehicles to verify the seabed maps and geographical map and also combined together we will take out the environmental study,” Mr Bang said.
If all goes well and deadline is met, given that at times unpredictable weather conditions can hinder this, the third stage would be seabed drilling to evaluate the ore deposits.
“At the moment, we are looking for precious metals like gold, silver and zinc,” Mr Bang said.
“Those precious metals are very high value and it can be a shared benefit for the Fijian Government.
“Our aim at the moment is to find out the minerals first and find its economic value. Then we will apply for a mining license and from there we will start commercialising.”
There are some 300 Korean experts and scientists involved in on the project.
Mr Bang assured environmental sustainability remained paramount.
“Within our institute, we have specialised environmental scientists. They all work together and from there we try to minimse the impact on the environment,” Mr Bang said.
The company is using the institute’s own research vessel for the exploration.
Feedback: ranobab@fijisun.com.fj




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