HC Deb 14 December 1955 vol 547 c1204
49. Mr. J. Howard

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what attempts are being made to develop the mineral resources in Fiji.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Since the reply is long, I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply: Gold (and associated silver) has been mined on a large scale since before the last war. In 1954 production was valued at about £F.1 million. Following taxation concessions in 1951 and 1952, the mining companies have embarked on an extensive programme of exploration and development with encouraging results. The Geological Survey, started in 1951 with assistance from Colonial Development and Welfare funds, has been particularly concerned with the development of mineral resources and it is largely its discoveries which have led to the increase of manganese exports from 631 tons in 1951 to 5,700 tons in 1954; exports are expected to be substantially higher this year. In 1955 the Legislative Council voted fF.1.500 for the investigation of mineral deposits: the year's programme included exploration for radio-active minerals.