More Mining Work In 2021

The Canadian-registered company, which was contracted to work in Fiji by mineral exploration company, Thunderstruck Resources, had advertised for local drillers.
07 Jan 2021 15:14
More Mining Work In 2021
Men at work …Bonga Xploration Drilling Ltd’s machines in use at a mineral exploration site in Fiji.

Bonga Xploration Drilling Company has left open the application period for vacancies it advertised.

“The vacancies will remain open for the long term, as we’re anticipating a lot of work coming up this year,” chief executive officer, Lloyd Gale, said.

The Canadian-registered company, which was contracted to work in Fiji by mineral exploration company, Thunderstruck Resources, had advertised for local drillers.

The advertisement, which continues to be published in the Fiji Sun, followed revelations that Bonga would contract its services to all exploration companies within Fiji.

Mr Gale said Bonga would offer its services to: 

  • Emperor Mines,
  • Kalo Exploration,
  • Thunderstruck Resources,
  • Dome Mines,
  • Vatukoula Gold Mines, and
  • Lion One.

“Should candidates do well, Bonga too would like to invite local drillers to travel abroad,” Mr Gale said.

“We essentially would like to be a local company.

“Subsequently, we would like to promote work within the country.

“Given the COVID-19 scenario, we cannot keep with our previous agreement with Thunderstruck, because I can’t get my crew in from other countries, given the high risk area of COVID-19.

“So it is up to Bonga to recruit new personnel.”

According to the advertisement, workers for the vacancies would travel Fiji-wide.

50/50 partnership 

Mr Gale said any company doing business in a foreign country should partner at least 50/50 with locals.

“I can actually run the equipment efficiently,” he said.

“But employing the locals may perhaps mean they can excel to become supervisors, to teach the local crew on how to do the task.

“A lot of my crew are in countries of high risk; they’re not allowed to come here.

“So now, I’m scouting the country for local talent.

“I am pushing and promoting adequate talents who are here to become top managers within the organisations.”

Bonga needs four drillers and eight offsiders, apart from its finance manager who is in Canada, he said.

“Eventually the employment figures will double, and triple,” Mr Gale said.

Locals to make management 

Bonga expects to employ 20 to 30 people in Fiji this year, he said.

“I would like the locals to excel from positions to become part of the management team,” he said.

“For any country I go to, I always promote locals excelling to the top of the company profile.”

Mr Gale has 27 years’ experience in the mining and exploration industry, with extensive exposure to the drilling industry in the Arctic, Africa, South America and Asia.

He has also worked in the mining sector in Greenland, Mexico, Canada, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Eritrea.

Incorporate in Fiji 

“Bonga experts would like to incorporate in Fiji,” Mr Gale said.

“That plan is actually in motion.”

He hopes his Canadian-based finance manager will join him to build Bonga’s Fijian base.

Mr Gale said Thunderstruck hired a local drilling contractor in 2019, for their Fiji programmes.

“However, their machinery was a little too large for some of the tasks,” he said.

Bonga and Thunderstruck have subsided work, given the cyclone season, inclement weather and the holidays, Mr Gale said.


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