Finau: Fiji bauxite shipments reduced

Shalend Prasad points at a spillage from the bauxite mine alleged by members of the public to be waste water from the sediment ponds. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

Luke Rawalai | The Fiji Times | June 26, 2017

THE number of bauxite shipments that leave the shores of Bua is determined by a lot of factors and chief among them is the global market price of the mineral.

Ministry of Land and Mineral Resources permanent secretary Malakai Finau told this newspaper that shipments had been reduced lately because of the drop in world prices for bauxite.

Mr Finau said there were other factors that affected the shipments of bauxite.

“The other factor that affects the amount of shipments that is exported to China is related to production and the setup of the mine,” he said.

“Because of the prevailing prices of the mineral, the company only sells when the price is right or when they stock the right amount of bauxite to be exported.

“There are other mining issues like the recent allegations of spillage and mining has to be stopped until these issues are addressed.

“As we speak, we have stockpiles of bauxite in the Naviqiri facility awaiting shipment.”

Earlier this month, director mineral development of the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources Dr Reijeli Taga said the first shipment of bauxite this year left Fiji’s shores on March 3.

She revealed that XINFA Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd’s first shipment this year occurred significantly earlier, compared with the single shipment of 2016, which did not take place until early September.

Dr Taga said the bauxite shipped to China weighed 58,709.60 tonnes, raking in revenue of $2.6 million.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Fiji, Financial returns

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