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Mining Project A Boost For Sigatoka

The Sigatoka Iron sands Project assessment outcome has exceeded the expectations of Dome Gold Mines Ltd. The mining company found that the Kulukulu South area contains a substantial deposit of
02 Dec 2020 12:43
Mining Project A Boost For Sigatoka

The Sigatoka Iron sands Project assessment outcome has exceeded the expectations of Dome Gold Mines Ltd.

The mining company found that the Kulukulu South area contains a substantial deposit of iron sand with heavy mineral grades accessible for mining.

“This is a ‘game-changer’ for the Sigatoka Project and Kulukulu South looks like the ideal location for the first six or seven years of production,” company chairman, Garry Lowder said in a statement to the Dome Gold Mines annual general meeting.

The project covers an area of 2,522.69 hectares on the plains at the mouth of the Sigatoka River, the river itself and an area offshore.

The proposed mining, dredging and mineral extraction development project is likely to have significant economic benefits for the local area.

The country and local residents are likely to benefit from the increase in productivity of land, river and marine environment and through job opportunities.

Mr Lowder said the area includes a relatively small but significant resource of high grade material, containing 48 per cent heavy minerals.

The alluvial sands cover a down-thrown fault block and are underlain by a combination of marls and limestone debris, he said.

The Sigatoka river course was initially along the western margin of this alluvial plain and has migrated eastward, gradually building up the large washed sand deposits with the assistance of the prevailing southeasterly trade winds and ocean currents.

Large volumes of sand containing magnetite have accumulated on the western side of the river mouth.

The total mineral resources at Sigatoka are now 189.5 million tonnes (Mt) at 12.7 per cent heavy minerals (HM), with a cut-off grade of eight per cent HM.

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This is made up of the following, Dome Gold Mines says:

Kulukulu South:
A combined Indicated and Inferred Resource of 34.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 20.2 per cent Heavy Minerals and 12.9 per cent clay containing 7 million tonnes of Heavy Minerals, which includes:

Koroua Island:
An Indicated Resource of 52.5 million tonnes, at an average grade of 13.2 per cent Heavy Minerals and 13 per cent clay, containing 6.9 million tonnes of Heavy Minerals of which 23 per cent is MAG1 (300 Gauss) Heavy Minerals.

Sigatoka River:
A combined Indicated and Inferred Resource of 29.4Mt at an average grade of 11.4 per cent Heavy Minerals and 6.7 per cent clay containing 3.3Mt of Heavy Minerals.

Kulukulu North:
The unclassified resource for the Kulukulu North area is now:
• A total of 73Mt at an average grade of 17.4 per cent Heavy Minerals and 6.0 per cent clay containing 12.7Mt of Heavy Minerals of which 14.8 per cent is MAG1 (300 Gauss) Heavy Minerals.

 

Uses of iron sand:
Ironsand is a type of sand with heavy concentrations of iron.

It is typically dark grey or blackish in colour.

It is sought for:
Magnetite: An iron oxide which is a key component in steel making

Titanium Oxide: Required for making titanium used to make alloys used in hightech applications such as aviation, defence and medical equipment

Vanadium Oxide: Used to increase the strength, heat and corrosion resistance of steel. This is particularly used in high grade reinforcing steel for earthquake strengthening in building and construction.

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In October 2015, formal approval was received from the Department of Environment of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the Sigatoka Project.

The company aims to conduct its activities to the highest standard of environmental obligation, including compliance with all environmental laws.

“Our goal is to focus on the excellent opportunity that the newly defined Kulukulu South mineral resource represents,” MrLowder said.

“We believe this part of the Sigatoka deposit will be readily amenable to initial mining operations and it appears to offer an accelerated path to production. It could help us make up for the time lost due to the pandemic.

In a very real sense then, Kulukulu South is the jewel in the Sigatoka crown.”

Other company projects:
Mr Lowder said with the very disrupted year that they have had and the necessary focus on Sigatoka, there was very little to report on Dome’s other projects in Fiji.

The Namoli-Wainivau Property – Mr Lowder said the property continues to be a valuable asset for the company, as it offers the prospect of discovering a large coppergold 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.

The Ono Island Gold Project – He said the project disappointed them in the first round of drilling, but the target concept remains valid. “I believe that this project will have its day when the industry gets back to some kind of normality.”

 

Feedback: selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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