3 Nov 2005

Revitalised phosphate industry key to Nauru recovery, claims minister

11:24 am on 3 November 2005

The Nauru Finance Minister, David Adeang, says a revitalised phosphate industry is the best means of reviving the economy.

Nauru has faced crippling economic pressures over the past two years, and later this month it will meet donor countries to discuss how they can assist the island's rehabilitation.

Mr Adeang says one bright hope is the interest shown in phosphate by an Australian company.

He says they've signed a deal and production is to increase dramatically within six months.

Currently Nauru is delivering just one per cent of what it managed at the peak of phosphate production.

But Mr Adeang says the Australians are confident of increasing this dramatically, meaning gains throughout the economy.

"We expect that the export of phosphates will release significant monies - not only to the industry whereby wages will be stabilized for the large numbers of Nauruans employed in the phosphate industry. It will translate to significant royalties for the Nauruan landowners whose land we mine, and of course substantial dividends to Government."