Our Operations

Asia Pacific Resources Limited (APR) uses modern technologies and methods to keep costs very low compared with those adopted by conventional mining companies Some of these technologies and methods, include:

  • undertaking our own exploration and ore body development;
  • undertaking our own in house feasibility studies and economic evaluations;
  • raising our capital privately;
  • owning all our own earthmoving equipment and plant and undertaking its own repairs and maintenance;
  • owning and operating our own truck fleet;
  • undertaking our own R&D and running our own assay laboratory;
  • constructing and developing new test equipment for design of large scale mining equipment and processes;
  • directly hiring experts applicable to the projects without going through large high-cost consulting groups;
  • keeping administration costs to a minimum;
  • designing and fabricating in house certain, otherwise high-cost equipment, such as flotation cells, apron feeders and leach tanks;
  • constructing site infrastructure in house;
  • procuring and shipping our plant, equipment and consumables from around the world;
  • refurbishing and upgrading second hand equipment for re-use; and
  • fabricating, assembling and commissioning our plant and equipment in-house.

This, and constant innovation, allows us to develop mine sites that would normally be too small or too difficult to generate sufficient return on investment. The biggest hurdle to overcoming this objective for most companies is the enormous cost of hiring large consulting companies to assist them through all the stages of a project — from exploration through to mining. This approach takes a vast amount of capital which also requires high-cost corporate advisory services and public capital raising. Only the scraps of the large amount of wealth tied up in a mining project are then available for distribution between investors, Government, workers and indigenous communities.

Our view is that all our projects should deliver substantial returns to Government (on behalf of the people), Indigenous Landowners and to investors. By cutting out these large consulting companies and the high-cost corporate advisory services in developing our projects, we obtain a much larger slice of the pie for distribution between the four most important groups: investors, Government, workers and indigenous communities.

APR is especially proud to be able to deliver more returns to investors, more taxes to Government, more pay to workers and more royalty to indigenous landowners by taking this approach. We are continually looking for new projects where our skills can be turned to liberating wealth from the earth which would otherwise remain untapped and unusable.

Our current projects are:

 
Wainivesi Mine

At Wainivesi Mine (introduced on the "About us" page), we calculate that the ore will support a mining operation of about 250,000 tonnes per year for five years. This will come from an open cut which in its final form is expected to be about 100m long by 85m wide -- the area of about 1½ football pitches -- and 35m deep from the surface. Companies who owned previous leases over Wainivesi invested substantial capital in proving up the ore deposit and APR built on this with significant investment in drilling and other exploration.

The ore at Wainivesi contains a lot of different metals — which in turn make it very hard to extract products which can be sold because these metals interfere with each other. The process of finding a way of extracting saleable products from an ore is called metallurgy. At Wainivesi, the company carried out intensive metallurgy testwork before investing substantially in a Mining Lease and the plant to extract the different metals. The testwork showed that 97% of all the metals could be recovered from the ore into a single product called a concentrate. This could then be further separated into a saleable zinc concentrate and a saleable copper concentrate. 97% of the gold and silver in these concentrates could then be recovered into a separate product for sale. Unfortunately, when the plant was built the company found that in fact none of the gold and silver could be separated and it was difficult to produce a clean and highly saleable concentrate. This situation dropped the potential income from the mine by more than 70%. If we proceeded with this approach it would mean that investors would only just make their money back and Government and landowners would receive very low returns.

It is not unusual for a mining plant to work out differently to what metallurgy testwork has indicated. This is one of the risks that investors in mining take when they invest their money into a project. Some projects have to close because of this situation while others find solutions and continue to operate. For APR, the investors chose to invest additional money to find a solution and make the project work.

An intensive 5 year R&D program was undertaken on site and solutions were found to the problems with the metallurgy. Now a unique process has been developed which allows the company to significantly improve its earnings from the ore. In fact, there is potential to earn significantly more than had originally been anticipated. Moreover, the process allows for a substantial amount of recycling which means that only water, mud and ground up rock go into our tailings dams and our emissions can be maintained well below international guidelines.

The process followed is:

  • mining,
  • crushing,
  • grinding,
  • gravity,
  • flotation,
  • acid leaching,
  • copper and zinc removal,
  • gold and silver leaching.

The processing plant based on this R&D has now been constructed and is scheduled to commence production this year. For investors, Government and landowners this means a return to previous earnings levels and significant returns for everyone.

Tailevu Lime
 
New projects and opportunities

With the Wainivesi Mine established, more detailed planning to develop projects at APR’s other exploration areas and in joint venture with other companies is now under way.

Many of the easily mined and easily processed ores throughout the world are now exhausted or rapidly depleting. As a civilisation, we need the metals from these projects to build our cars and buildings and other machines we take for granted in our societies. You can imagine how difficult life would be if there was no copper for transporting electricity into our homes for example.

The new crop of mines that we will need to support our standard of living will depend on finding solutions to ores that are hard to mine and hard to process. They will also have the additional constraints of more expensive energy and higher environmental restrictions. The process APR has developed ticks all the boxes for the future. It allows extraction of metals from difficult ores and reduces emissions and power consumption.

Discussions are already underway with a number of companies whose projects could benefit from using APR's technology - especially those with:

  • copper interfering with gold and silver recoveries,
  • zinc interfering with gold and silver recoveries,
  • lead interfering with gold and silver recoveries,
  • galena, chalcocite, chalcopyrite, marmatite, sphalerite interference with gold and silver recoveries,
  • zinc contamination of copper concentrates,
  • copper contamination of zinc concentrates,
  • difficult oxide ores, and
  • difficult and refractory sulphide ores.
Modern methods/Low overheads

We are highly professional in applying up-to-date knowledge and techniques in business, mining and engineering. We do so at the lowest possible cost, with a rigorously low-cost management structure using advanced technology and highly expert specialists. As a result, we can develop small mineral deposits and make a profit. The much higher cost structure of conventional companies would make it uneconomical for them to do the same.

An important part of cutting our costs is to buy second-hand plant and equipment, mainly from overseas because it is unavailable in Fiji. Once it arrives in Fiji, our highly skilled engineering staff refurbish it (and sometimes substantially re-manufacture it) to go into operation. Our staff also build mining plant and equipment “from the ground up”.

More about the increasing skills of our staff...

More about meeting our environmental responsibilities...

Information about employment and investment...