15 Feb 2011

Hopes for Fiji's mining sector to generate billions

2:51 pm on 15 February 2011

Fiji's interim government says it believes the mining sector can generate billions of dollars over the next 40 years.

Fiji will hold its first ever mining symposium at the end of February to prepare for an expected boom in the industry.

The interim Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Netani Sukanaivalu, says the value of mining exploration works was averaging about a million US dollars over the past 15 years.

But he says in 2008 it increased to 15 million dollars, then it grew to 30 million in 2009 and says further growth is expected.

"We're looking at more than a billion dollars per annum for the next 30 to 40 years. For inshore mining we have gold and copper, we have magnetite, we have bauxite, we have zinc. And also at the moment we have three companies that are exploring our deep sea mining."

Netani Sukanaivalu says the mining symposium will host discussions on the needs of the sector, how to prepare the country for growth and the need to revise the Mining Act.