6 Mar 2006

Vanuatu has hopes for bigger mineral industry as manganese is exported 30 years after being mined

8:46 pm on 6 March 2006

A US company which has just signed a contract to export piles of the manganese mineral from Vanuatu says it wants to ensure no environmental damage is caused by its operations.

Vanuatu Project Management Limited has signed with the Vanuatu government to remove and export 500-thousand tonnes of manganese that have been left untouched for nearly thirty years.

Under its former owners, the company packed up and left the country when Vanuatu was still under joint British and French colonial rule.

The company's managing director, Randall Pollock, says the country has huge potential for mining but its infrastructure needs rebuilding.

Mr Pollock says an Environmental Impact Assesment will be carried out on the project ...

"We want this place to be more like a beautiful, quiet south seas resort, than a mining destination - dirty dusty mining, noisy type of thing. So we're fully aware of that, plus Vanuatu's got really good environmental and mining laws that stipulate that in any mining you do, you must re-establish the property the way it was as you leave when you're done with an area."

Vanuatu Project Management Limited's Randall Pollock