Mining & Groundwater
The geographical and geological setting of Fiji has attracted multinational exploration companies to invest and successfully prospect for mineral deposits including gold and mineral water.
Fiji is in the south-western Pacific and is a volcanic group of islands consisting of more than 300 islands with a fascinating geological setting within the Pacific Rim of Fire. Such setting generates various types of mineral deposit systems such as high suphidation, low sulphidation and porphyry systems. World metal demands have escalated 17 proponents exploring on land and 1 proponent exploring offshore for certain commodities such as gold, silver, copper, alumina and manganese to cater for the market demand.
The total area explored on land is 320,484.12 Ha and 294,800 Ha is explored offshore on the North Fiji Basin along the Triple Junction setting. High prospective areas of the regional geological settings generate 41 special prospecting licences that are viable for sustainable exploitation that is driven with the changes in commodity prices. The current active gold mine has a mineral resource volume of 4.1 million ounces of gold with current mineral reserve of 750,000 ounces of gold, which has been producing for 85 years. Two current projects have been granted mining leases with mine life of 21 years which will enhance the push for developments on the other high grade prospects in the region.
Potential for Mineral & Groundwater Resources
The potential for expansion of a mineral sector in Fiji is quite promising given its geological formation and location in the Pacific. Groundwater resources on the other hand, show significant potential for mineral water production. Fiji currently has 53 companies (2015 est.) exploring for potential mineral deposits on land covering a total area of 746,877.07 ha (2015 est.). However, the interest for evaluating offshore deep sea minerals has attracted few companies and two companies have been granted approval to conduct exploring for deep sea minerals.
Fiji is a consistent exporter of minerals, primarily gold for close to 85 years now.
The value of mineral water exports in 2018 was FJD$264 million while the value of gold exports was FJD$114 million.
The geographical and geological setting of Fiji at the edge of the Indo- Australian plate and current commodity prices (like gold) has attracted multinational exploration companies.
The success of water exports has further given confidence to entrepreneurs to develop bottling plants indicating market growth potential for groundwater from Fiji.
With the increasing global conscience for green productivity and renewable energy, the sector is primed for further growth with a number of international companies applying for rights to explore for geothermal resources.
Emerging technologies for offshore or undersea mining, with companies actively lobbying government for opportunities to pioneer a new age of mineral exploration and production- minerals from the sea.