November 08, 2011

Fiji Sun: Chinese here to mine


A distinguished Chinese delegation of eight from Xin Fa Aluminium and Electricity Company, arrived in Nadi yesterday morning for the opening of the multi-million dollar bauxite mine in Nawailevu, Bua which is to be officiated by the Prime Minister today.

The group was accompanied by Fiji’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Esala Teleni. They were welcomed by the Commissioner Western, Commander Joeli Cawaki.

Headed by the assistant Governor of the Shandong Province itself, Zhou Qi, the group has come to Fiji after four years of explorations; four years which has seen them invest in excess of $35 million.

This expenditure has been on preparatory work and exploration; and it was said that a lot more is expected to be invested after proper mining commences.

“Between July this year till now, we have spent in the vicinity of $20m. A lot of this investment has been put on the required infrastructure of the area such as roads, a jetty and bringing in equipment,” said Mr Zhou through an interpreter.

The project will see hundreds of job opportunities for locals, with only four specialised engineers from China being brought in.

“We are looking at hiring around 120 regular employees and an additional 100 casual workers, totalling around 220 local employment opportunities,” said Mr Zhou.

The company is already in the middle of looking at several potential sites for exploration in the Vanua Levu region, which will only further boost investment in the country.

The Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources, Filimoni Kau said this venture was a good indication of investor confidence in Fiji and the healthy bilateral relations shared between the two nations.

Shandong Xinfa Aluminum And Electricity Group was founded in 1972 and includes more than 50 affiliated enterprises and subsidiary companies.

It is a large-scale enterprise integrating 10 industries: power generation, heat supply, alumina refinery, aluminum smelting, aluminum deep processing, carbon, fluoride salt, high and middle density fiberboards, and monosodium glutamate.

It employs about 16,500 people and has aluminium resources in Australia and Indonesia.

Shandong XINFA group also has under its belt a power plant with a capacity of three million kilowatt hours and a capacity of AL2O3 (Aluminium Oxide powder) refinery of 120,000,000 tonnes yearly.

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