SUNBIZ

Magma: Groundworks By 2023

Construction of roads and piped water and electricity supply, could be among the order of events anywhere after the next six months as a prelude to the development of Fiji’s
03 Nov 2022 12:10
Magma: Groundworks By 2023
Magma Mines country manager, Darren Grant, visited the Fiji Sun in Suva on November 3, 2022, where he unveiled more of the company’s plans to develop a magnetite mine in Kulukulu, and expand on its aggregate business in the country. Photo: Frederica Elbourne

Construction of roads and piped water and electricity supply, could be among the order of events anywhere after the next six months as a prelude to the development of Fiji’s first magnetite mine.

Magma Mines, operators of a magnetite mining project that is planned for Kulukulu, Sigatoka, says it has met with “good considered questions from villagers” in the course of its awareness and community engagement.

“I have not had any negative feedback other than questions to simplify what was in it for the landowners,” country manager, Darren Grant, said in an exclusive interview with SunBiz yesterday.

Magma Mines carried out exploration for the past 10 years.

 

Rehabilitation & Compensation

Rehabilitation, compensation, and jobs were the three main aspects of issues brought forward that Magma Mines said it would need to explore, explain and demonstrate for the areas it will work in.

“Club Masa, a closed surf resort at Kulukulu, located near the site that Magma Mines hopes to operate out of, has indicated itself a willing partner in the proposed mining project,” Mr Grant said.

Employment figures will vary according to the stages of development of the project.

“There will be the construction stage that will require roads to be developed, power put to site, and water facilities for the processing plant.

“This will be followed by the construction of the processing centre.

“Potentially, we could see anything from 50 to 60 people at any one time, with varying levels.”

 

Various Stages Of Development 

Once the infrastructure has been established, the skills required will change to the movement of materials, mining, heavy equipment operators.

“That’s just the mine, per se, because as an organisation, we will need administrators, business skills, human resources managers, risk and compliance, caterers and hospitality,” Mr Grant said.

Where Amex Resources extracts magnetite for export mainly to China, Magma Mines will consider marketing to local markets, with the possibility of Australia and New Zealand.

The national road development project, which is building roads around the country, gives hope to Magma’s aggregate business, Mr Grant said.

“If it gets to that scale, the other materials are quite beneficial to everyone,” he said.

 

Koroua 

Koroua Island, an area of heightened interest for Magma’s development, will not be mined in the immediate future, Mr Grant said.

For now, Magma will focus on the opening of the Kulukulu River, and areas near the Kulukulu settlement. Koroua Island, owned by the villagers of Vunavutu is used for subsistence and semi-commercial farming.

 

Country manager, Darren Grant 

Mr Grant, an Australian of Scottish and Irish descent, took up office at Magma House, Olosara in recent weeks.

He visited the country on two previous occasions, as a tourist.

On this occasion, Mr Grant is accompanied by his wife.

The Australian couple come from an educational background, where Mr Grant – an accountant by profession – managed a school, while his wife was a teacher.

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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