Tag Archives: Xinfa Aurum Exploration Fiji

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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$50.6m in six years for Fiji from bauxite

Luke Rawalai | The Fiji Times | June 07, 2017

FIJI has earned a total revenue of $50.6 million since bauxite mining began in Nawailevu, Bua six years ago.

Responding to questions from this newspaper, Mineral Resources Department acting director Dr Raijeli Taga said the revenue was derived from 23 shipments of the mineral.

Dr Taga said the shipments consisted of soil containing bauxite which was further processed and separated in processing plants in China.

“The total mass exported was 1,191,530 dry metric tonnes,” she said.

“In total the exact amount of revenue derived from the bauxite stands at $50,653,983.

“The value of each shipment was in excess of $1.5 million.”

Dr Taga said only one shipment of bauxite left Fiji’s shores in 2016 bound for China.

“The average annual shipments varied from one to four respective years,” she said.

Responding to questions on how much of the revenue had been paid to resource owners, Ms Taga said the mining company would be in a better position to answer this question since they would provide details of employment and other social corporate responsibilities.

“However, please be advised that the royalty derived from these exports had been deposited to the Government,” she said. “Some of the returns of this investment so far include employment, compensation, social assistance and community project assistance.”

Earlier, Dr Taga revealed to this newspaper that $2.8 million in revenue was derived from the first shipment of bauxite this year.

However, when contacted for a comment yesterday, XINFA Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd manager Sireli Dagaga said the Mineral Resources Department would be in a better position to comment.

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$2.8m for Fiji from bauxite

Luke Rawalai | The Fiji Times | June 01, 2017

FIJI earned $2.8 million in revenue from the first shipment of bauxite this year, bringing total earnings to about $52.2m since mining started at Nawailevu in Bua in 2010.

Director Mineral Development Dr Raijeli Taga said the first shipment this year left Fiji’s shores on March 3.

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.

“This raked in revenues of $1,350,320.80 in US dollars,” she said.

In 2015, this newspaper reported that the company had so far exported 1.2 million tonnes of bauxite worth $48m from the shores of Bua in the Northern Division.

In July last year, the company said they were expecting to export 70,000 tonnes of bauxite valued at $4m by mid August, however, in September it was announced that a shipment of 69,000 tonnes valued at $1.4m had been exported.

Company director Derek Qiu had said then that they could not export more bauxite because of a drop in global market price.

He said the quality of bauxite was another contributing factor to the slow export process.

Earlier Dr Taga said the generally challenging bauxite market, coupled with issues surrounding the ore’s quality, affected bauxite export.

Despite this situation, Dr Taga said XINFA Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd would continue with its mining operation to stockpile for later export when the commodity price improved.

When contacted for comment on Monday, XINFA Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd said all comments on bauxite issues would be made by the Department of Mineral Resources.

Dr Taga had said the number of bauxite exports could not be estimated for 2017 because of the volatile nature of the mining business.

She said bauxite from Fiji was not of premium grade and had to compete with bauxite from countries such as Australia, Mongolia and Indonesia which were of superior grade.

Dr Taga said further exports would be purely a business decision of the tenement holder which would depend on the market price in terms of profitability and sustainability of their operations.

She said if the export price was not feasible then the tenement holder would continue with the mining activity and export when the price was right.

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Taga: Volatile nature of mining impacts bauxite

The number of bauxite export cannot be estimated for 2017 because of volatile nature of the mining business, says director Mineral Development Dr Raijeli Taga. Picture: Luke Rawalai

Serafina Silaitoga | The Fiji Times | May 17, 2017

Director Mineral Development Dr Raijeli Taga said this resulted in one shipment being sent so far this year to China.

This, she said, was sent in March.

Despite this situation, Dr Taga said XINFA Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd would continue with its mining operation to stockpile for later export when the commodity price improved.

“The number of bauxite export cannot be estimated for 2017 due to volatile nature of the mining business,” she said.

“Further exports will be purely a business decision of the tenement holder which will depend on the market price in terms of profitability and sustainability of their operations.

“If the export price is not feasible then the tenement holder would continue with the mining activity and export when the price is right.”

For last year, Dr Taga said the export declined because of low commodity price in China who was the primary buyers of Fijian bauxite.

“Since the bauxite from Fiji is not of premium grade, it has to compete with bauxite from countries such as Australia, Mongolia and Indonesia which are of superior grade,” she said.

“According to the quarter one update of 2017 from the Bauxite Index, the Chinese domestic alumina prices have fallen from recent highs in January, as supply was ramped up to take advantage of the higher prices.

“Subsequently, it assumed that the bauxite export would be very similar to 2016 unless the price improves.”

However, announcements, she said indicated that bauxite import would remain weak as China had suspended spot import for three months because of ample cheaper DOM (Days on Market) supply.

She said Beijing also announced plans for winter cuts

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Fiji villagers claim mine spill destroying fishing grounds

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

Luke Rawalai | Fiji Times | March 20, 2017

PEOPLE in Nasarawaqa, Bua and those living along the Dreketi River claim the decline in marine resources around the area is due to spillage of waste water from the bauxite mining in Naibulu, Dreketi.

Sasake villager Apisalome Tumuri claimed that the spill off from the mine during heavy rain forced marine life out from the area to the deep sea.

The 52-year-old fisherman claims there had been a lot of changes in their fishing ground since mining began in nearby Naibulu, Dreketi.

Mr Tumuri said fish, crabs and bech-de-mer had begun disappearing from their fishing grounds during the past three years. He said in the past, villagers could pick shellfish and fetch mud crabs from nearby mangroves.

He said they now had to go out into the open sea to get these.

Dreketi resident Losana Lomani said the Dreketi River had turned red last week after heavy rain was experienced in the area.

Ms Lomani said they learnt that the muddy water originated from the mining site and that women in the area found it hard to find freshwater mussels in the river.

XINFA Aurum Exploration Fiji Ltd’s senior officer Sang Lei said the muddy water witnessed by villagers was normal rain run-off from land.

Mr Lei said all waste water from the mine was contained in the sediment pond at the mine and that none had seeped into the waterways as claimed.

Responding to queries, permanent secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources Ministry Malakai Finau said it was normal for the sea to turn muddy during heavy rain.

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Bauxite mining causes heated debate in Bua

xinfa bauxite bua

Bua Concerns Cleared By Mining Firm

Josaia Ralago | Fiji Sun | 7 October 2016

The issue of bauxite mining raised many unasked questions among representatives causing a heated discussion during the Bua Provincial Meeting in Nabouwalu yesterday.

Xinfa Aurum Exploration Limited representative Isireli Dagaga clarified to the mata-ni-tikina (district representatives) present that there were many false and fabricated information being passed around about the detrimental impacts of bauxite mining on the environment.

“There have been concerns raised that it increases the rate of landslides, damages the marine ecosystem, even soil being taken overseas and issues of deforestation. But I want to tell you today that these issues are not true and we ensure that the environment condition is reinstated after our works,” Mr Dagaga said.

“Bauxite is an element in the soil and we only excavate four metres – to a maximum of six metres which rarely happens – of the top soil.

“I want to assure members of this meeting that soil is not being taken but only the bauxite as it will be a waste of boat space if we were to take soil.  The material is also observed in laboratories to ensure that it is bauxite before shipment.

“There are also sediment pools after the processing to filter the water before it is released into the sea.

“The top soil removed is replaced and trees replanted to prevent landslides.”

Galoa Island villager Suliasi Saraqio said this was not true as the sediments during the mining in Votua were usually piled in the Lekutu River which they used for travelling purposes.

“The water colour was different and the sediments made the river mouth shallow creating difficulty for us when we travel. But now after the mining, the situation is improving,” Mr Saraqio said.

Bua chief Ra Makutu Nagagavoka said the process that Mr Dagaga talked about – especially the inclusion of a sediment pond – was not carried out during the mining in Nawailevu, Bua.

Ra Makutu said part of the concern was on why this processes were not carried out in Bua and only when they moved to other areas for excavation.

He said in his opinion, it would be better if arable lands were not excavated and tree-felling exercises carried out just for excavation purposes as forest resources were far better if preserved.

Mr Dagaga announced that they had given out $4 million to landowners in Bua who had their lands mined for bauxite.

“This includes Nawailevu, Votua and Wainunu,” Mr Dagaga said.

“This amount has been given out to the Land Bank and iTaukei Land Trust Board.”

Ra Makutu questioned as to how fair these allocations were as they could only guess the total amount of money the company got compared to the ones these individuals received.

He said if they claimed to be fair then they should distribute a just share of the income they received from the excavation to the landowners.

Meanwhile, Xinfa Aurum Explorations is currently working on a site in Dreketi in Macuata.

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Fiji: Probe over mine death continues

Serafina Silaitoga | The Fiji Times | June 03, 2016

THE Ministry of Labour has not completed its investigations into the death of 29-year-old Floyd Williams at the bauxite mine last month.

Minister for Labour Semi Koroilavesau said he would not comment on the investigations.

“I will not make any comments on the OHS coverage for mines until we have finalised our preliminary investigation report,” Mr Koroilavesau said.

“As for the workers compensation, the Labasa team is currently liaising with the employer to provide more documents in relation to wages records and awaiting the conclusion of traditional rites before taking down the statements of the dependents for the deceased.”

Mr Koroilavesau said last month the ministry did not monitor the occupational health and safety standard issues at all mining sites.

“The Health and Safety at Work Act 1996 applies to all workplaces, except those workplaces connected with the Mining Act, Quarries Act, Explosives Act and Petroleum (Exploration and Exploitation) Act. Therefore, the National OHS Service does not monitor the OHS standard at all mining sites, as these are exempted from the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act.”

Police said Mr Williams was trapped and crushed on the conveyor belt carrying soil to the bauxite dryer separator at Dreketi.

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