The Mineral Resource Department (MRD), Environment division carry out water sampling on a monthly basis to quantify and characterize the impact of mining activity within the catchment environment (An area surrounded by natural features such as hills or mountains which water run-offs flows to a lower point).

The monitoring of mines for the month of July was a joint effort between the Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited (VGML), Amex Resources Limited (AMEX) and MRD.

The types of sampling included:

• water quality test (checking of water in relation to the ecosystem and human (safety);

• water sampling (required for laboratory analysis and testing of metals content including waste water discharge from mines) to confirm minimal pollution of surrounding waterways; and

• capture sampling (conducted for AMEX mines) to determine fish stock around the mining area while ensuring that the mining activity does not affect or change the fish stock present on the mine site vicinity.)

Also, visual observations and environment assessments are being noted such as livestock present around sampling area, small fish around the waterways, locals fishing along the mine site, other sea organisms such as jellyfish, turtles and birds.

All water samples collected from the monitoring work are submitted to MRD’s Geochemical Laboratory for further analysis.

The results obtained from the laboratory are then compared to the National Liquid Waste Standards to identify any inconsistencies from water sampled.

Also, site observation by the monitoring team confirms the general condition of the ecosystem surrounding the mining site.

Monitoring by the process of taking water sampling ensures sustainability in the mineral sector development.

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