Repeka Nasiko | Fiji Times
THE second largest gold mining venture in the country has moved into the second phase of development works after the company was granted a mining licence by the Mineral Resources Department earlier this year.
Tuvatu Gold Mines owner Lion One Ltd has begun construction work of its mining infrastructure and has begun recruiting more workers for the task.
Lion One Ltd’s lands and permit manager Moape Navia said the company was waiting to receive final mining lease documentation for the Tuvatu project.
“Once the documentation has been received, the company envisions it will commence some initial development works in the next few months,” Mr Navia said.
“Employment numbers will gradually increase as parts of the development phase occur.
“By the time we start producing our first gold, we will have a full workforce.
“With that said, there has been a lot of interest shown by locals in employment with the company.”
Mr Navia said the company had been making payments to relevant authorities, including landowners, as their works progressed.
“The company made the first significant premium payment of $700,000 to the landowners 12 months ago.
“The next payment is due on the pour of the first gold at Tuvatu and that’s the last in regards to premiums.
“Additionally, the company pays annual land rent to TLTB, and contributes to the communities in the area in many other ways.”
To date, the Canadian company has spent about $56million on the exploration phase and another $100m would be invested to build the mine.