12 Mar 2004

Fiji supports South African bid for Emperor mine

4:33 pm on 12 March 2004

The Fiji government has come out in support of the South African mining giant, Durban Roodepoort Deep Limited or DRD's bid to increase its stake in the Emperor Gold Mining Limited company from 20-percent to 90-percent.

The Fiji Times reports the South African company made an offer for Australia's Emperor Gold Mine company, who operate the Suva based Vatukoula mine.

Emperor Gold Mine manager in Fiji, Martin Jacobson, says the take over bid should not affect local operations.

The acting chief executive of the lands and mineral resources ministry, Barma Nand, has told the Fiji Times that since there would be no job losses and no effect on its operations, the government has no problems with the acquisition.

Mr Nand says there is the possibility of more investment and jobs being created.

The lands minister, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, was informed of the acquisition which has been approved by the Emperor board.

The Trades Union congress says while the offer is attractive to shareholders, it should be the same for mining workers.

It hopes the government will include the two thousand plus workers in the stakeholder group.