31 Jan 2007

Calls to nationalise Fiji's only gold mine

10:23 am on 31 January 2007

An industrial relations advisor to the Fiji Mine Workers Union says Fiji is well equipped with technology and human resources to run the country's closed gold mine effectively and profitably.

Kavekini Navuso has also called on the interim government to nationalise the mine.

Mr Navuso says Fiji has a robust mining workforce of high performance professional geologists, mining engineers and technicians and mineral technology to operate the Vatukoula Gold mine.

The Emperor Gold Mining Company closed the mine on the day of the December 5th coup citing lack of profitability and laid off over 1,700 employees.

Mr Navuso says the interim administration's task force on the mine should ensure that Emperor cleans up the mess it has created and pays its debts before leaving Fiji.

He says Emperor and its joint venture partner, DRD, have accumulated massive wealth in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and South Africa at the expense of impoverished mine workers and their governments.