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Global 21 fourth quarter 2015

In Focus Fiji policies, and is an indication of Fijians acquiring sustainable livelihoods. It gives insight that Fiji is on the march.” Foreign investment has not always gone smoothly, however. A new tourist resort at Momi Bay on the island of Viti Levu was initially funded by New Zealandbased Bridgecorp, which ran into financial difficulties in 2007. The Fiji Momi Bay resort development had to be taken over by the government-run Fiji National Provident Fund in 2010 following the collapse of Bridgecorp in the wake of fraud trials against some of its directors in Auckland. After stagnating for several years, the project was restarted in the autumn of 2014, with Bainimarama declaring: “We are breathing new life into the partially built complex that had come to resemble a ghost town. And all is now on track for a spectacular opening in two years’ time. The Marriott Resort at Momi Bay is destined to become one of the brightest jewels in the crown of the Fijian tourism industry.” Gold mining accounts for a sizeable amount of the country’s foreign trade Fiji’s largest gold mine The Emperor Gold Mine, located in the northern part of the main island of Suva and owned by Vatukoula Gold Mines, is the largest producing gold mine in Fiji. According to the operator, the mine is currently estimated to contain 4.1 million ounces of mineral resources and 750,000 ounces of mineral reserves. The mine sits at the base of the hills that make up the Tavua volcanic crater. With more than 75 years of production history, and in excess of seven million ounces of gold produced to date, the mine is of strategic importance to the country’s gold industry. In 2009 the mine was flooded following a dramatic increase in rainfall during a once-in-a-century extreme weather event. As part of the clean-up operation, Vatukoula Gold Mines announced plans to refurbish and develop the mine to restore annual production to previous levels and investigate the potential for explorative drilling in the surrounding areas. The mine currently operates an open pit and underground operations, but it is expected to make the move towards becoming a predominantly underground mine in the future. global four th quar ter 2015 www.global -br ief ing.org l 53


Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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