4 May 2005

Gold production down and jobs at risk in Fiji

5:26 am on 4 May 2005

A report from Fiji says hundreds of workers at the Emperor Gold Mining Company's Vatukoula mine could lose their jobs if gold production continues to drop.

The Fiji Times says the company expects gold production to drop by 20-per cent in the next month and even further if a review of the mining plan is not initiated soon.

In a statement issued in Sydney, Emperor's managing director, Mark Wellesley-Wood, says gold production at the Fiji mine is nine months behind schedule due to a combination of factors.

Among these he has listed a delay in the deepening of the Philip Shaft, lower than expected ore grades and flooding of the lower levels of the main mining shaft because of a pump failure.