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Vatukoula Gold Mines Execs To Head North

Mineral Resources Department announced Vatukoula Gold Mines as the successful applicant for the tender and possible development of Mount Kasi mine.
11 May 2021 12:23
Vatukoula Gold Mines Execs To Head North
Equipment at Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited (Left) and the Acting director for Mineral Resources Department, Raymond Mohammed(Right).

A team of representatives from Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited (VGML) will travel to Vanua Levu to meet with landowning communities to discuss prospecting plans for mineral exploration.

General manager Yi Huang said the team will also engage in environment and socio-economic discussions surrounding the development at the mine, he said.

Successful bid 

Last week, the Mineral Resources Department announced Vatukoula Gold Mines as the successful applicant for the tender and possible development of Mount Kasi mine.

Mount Kasi, 40 kilometres West of Savusavu, was previously mined for gold from 1932-1946 and 1997-1998.

Vatukoula Gold Mines came out on top of seven applicants to win the tender.

But the tender went into question following a redress application earlier this year.

The redress has since been resolved.

The tender and the special prospecting license

The tender was awarded on meritorious grounds, which included strong financial capacity and sound technical capability to undertake bona fide mineral exploration at Mt Kasi, Mr Mohammed said.

“The award of the tender does not necessarily result in award of exploration rights to VGML.

“If they do not meet the special prospecting licence requirements, it could go to the second best applicant.”

Vatukoula Gold Mines general manager Yi Huang is confident the company will secure the license.

However, the company will not team up with another industry player to form a joint venture as it did with Goldbasin Mining.

“We will do it this time – we now have the means,” Mr Yi said.

Goldbasin Mining is a subsidiary of Vatukoula Gold Mines that was established to carry out mineral exploration work for the latter.

Mr Yi said Goldbasin Mining was established because of a local shortage of skills and human resources in mineral resources.

“This time, we can do it ourselves,” he said.

Next move 

A team of representatives from Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited will travel to Vanua Levu to meet with landowning communities to discuss prospecting plans for mineral exploration, Mr Yi said.

The company will also engage in environment and socio-economic discussions surrounding the development at the mine, he said.

A sequence 

  • In July 2020, an international tender for Mt Kasi was published.
  • On August 14, 2020, the international tender for Mt Kasi closed.
  • In February 2021, the Mineral Resources Department confirmed a redress concerning Mt Kasi.

As the department worked to resolve the redress over at least two months, Mr Yi maintained that the results would ultimately favour VGM. Mt Kasi was one of seven mineral exploration licences that were to be issued by the Mineral Resources Department.

Vatukoula Gold Mines was one of seven entities to have applied for the Mt Kasi tender.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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