Identifying a Mineral Prospect
Fiji has the attraction of having a well-organised, complete set of all geological records and exploration data pertaining to Fiji, dating back to the 1800's. All companies prospecting, exploring or mining in Fiji are required to submit all data collected to MRD upon termination, surrender, or part-surrender of a Licence or Lease. All relevant reports are immediately placed on openfile in the MRD library, where they form part of the MRD Exploration Report series. In addition, mining-company open-file reports are indexed in the MRD Bibliography, according to licence number, and are catalogued by subject and location. All are available to the public for reference in the MRD library. MRD is now trying to digitise this data, much is now also available on computer file. Further specific information or advice can be obtained from MRD upon request.
MRD has also been actively involved in mapping most areas of Fiji on a scale of 1:50 000, although certain areas, such as the Lau group and Rotuma, have been mapped in more detail. All of MRD's maps have been published and are available to the public on open file for consulting or copying.
MRD also maintains are stock of other sources of information on the geology of Fiji, which provides potential investors with all the necessary information for an initial assessment of the prospectivity of Fiji. The following can be sent to interested prospectors on request:
The Exploration & Mineral Digest is sold for FJ$12.00 an issue, or FJ$48.00 for a yearly subscription. The 196-page MRD Memoir 4 is sold for FJ$20.00, all other information is sent complimentary. The Bibliography of company reports is nearly complete, but is only available as a draft at present; however, a computer disk copy can be made available at a nominal cost.
In addition, a database catalogue was created at MRD to assist scientists in their geological-related work, by providing detailed information in an organised digital data format. This database catalogue contains, among other things, information in dBase format on mineral exploration geophysical surveys and mine tenements.
Getting a Licence
When a mining company or prospector is ready to begin groundwork, then they need to apply to the Director of Mines at MRD for a licence. MRD issues and monitors eight types of leases and licences (see section on Exploration and Mining Procedures). MRD staff are able to assist with enquiries regarding any of these licences, to provide more information as to rights granted and obligations under each licence, as well as to detail information required at each stage of the approval process.
Establishing a Mining Company in Fiji
In the event that preliminary prospecting activity has identified a potential area worthy of further exploration, the next step for an investor is to establish a mining company in Fiji (unless the investor chooses to operate as a branch of a parent company registered overseas). When a project reaches this stage, it is recommended, at this juncture, that the licence holder either utilises the business services of one of the many accounting and financial management firms in Suva to establish the mining company, or, the licence holder can follow the following procedures:
1. Submit a project proposal to the Fiji Trade & Investment Board to acquire in principle, tax and customs concessions, Reserve Bank of Fiji approvals and Immigration approvals.
2. Reserve a company name.
3. Once the project is approved, liase with RBF, Immigration Department, Customs Department, and Inland Revenue Department for registration purposes.
4. Register the company. Register the Memorandum and Articles of Association, and comply with Fiji National Provident Fund, and Fiji National Training Council, requirements.
5. Identify the tenement in which your company has an interest.
6. Apply to the Director of Mines at MRD for a waiver of pegging, or peg the area (see the section enclosed entitled Exploration and Mining ).
7. Advise the Director of Mines of the name of the person who will hold the Prospector's Right, or Prospecting Licence, ideally this person should be a Fiji citizen.
8. Advise the Director of Mines of the name of the Accredited Agent, who holds their Power of Attorney in Fiji, and the name of an Authorised Officer, as per the requirements in the Mining Act.
9. Apply to the Director of Mines for s (Special) Prospecting Licence.
In most cases the Director of Mines should be able to assist with providing contacts in other Departments, or can advise as to whom should be contacted at each step in the application process.
View the Flow Chart of the Process. (24Kb)