SUNBIZ

It’s Time To Get This Project Built In A Timely Manner

“Amongst all the countries I have worked in throughout my career, Fiji is my favourite,” Mr Berukoff said.
09 Aug 2022 13:00
It’s Time To Get This Project Built In A Timely Manner
From left: Lion One founder, president and chief executive officer, Walter Berukoff, senior vice president exploration, Sergio Cattalani, chief operating officer Patrick Hickey, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and Minister for Mineral Resources, Jone Usamate, during the celebration of Lion One Metals lease extension on August 8, 2022. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Fiji continues to be open to public markets and can access critical capital to enable the construction of responsible mining.

The message from Lion One Metals yesterday heralds a new level of development for the country’s next gold producer.

Lion One Metals yesterday celebrated the extension of its lease to early 2036 at its Tuvatu alkaline gold project in Nadi.

Company founder, president and Chief Executive Officer, Wally Berukoff, who is visiting from Canada, said the mine would be operational for many more years.

“It’s time to get this project built in timely manner, and to fully maximise the benefits to Fiji.”

 

A self-made millionaire, he remained actively involved in promoting responsible mining in Fiji for decades, after he founded the Tuvatu project 17 years ago.

“Amongst all the countries I have worked in throughout my career, Fiji is my favourite,” Mr Berukoff said.

“The Tuvatu project is world class in terms of its deposit, as well as the skill sets which has kept us here, and work ethic of our local Fijian workforce.”

“Responsible mining would enhance local socio-economic conditions for all Fijians,” Mr Berukoff said.

 

The company had invested more than $140 million into the local economy, and will pump in an additional $100 million in the lead up to production late next year. Lion One Metals prides itself as a responsible mining company.

“We have not flooded the market with expatriates – almost all of our staff here are local Fijians,” Mr Berukoff said.

The company continues training programmes with locals.

Mr Berukoff hailed the landowners who he said made the alkaline gold deposit project possible.

 

Fiji’s Incredible Talent

“There is an incredible talent pool in Fiji with diverse skill sets, and education directly applicable to our business, which makes our localisation efforts of hiring very straightforward,” Mr Berukoff said.

“Lion One Our mining practices will be in alignment with both national law and international best practices,” he said.

“The people of Fiji are very keen and active to maximise the local benefits that responsible mining brings to the table,” Mr Berukoff said.

“We are confident that Tuvatu will become similar to million ounce gold mines such as Vatukoula just north of here, and Porgera in Papua New Guinea.”

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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