16 Feb 2007

Emperor Gold Mining Company in final stages of selling Fiji gold mine

10:40 am on 16 February 2007

The Emperor Gold Mining Company, which closed its Fiji gold mine in December, is in the final stages of negotiating its sale which could take place as early as next month.

The report has led to concern by the Fiji interim administration that the company should meet all its obligations to clean up the environment, meet workers' dues, pay its creditors and help with alternative livelihood programmes for redundant workers.

The company's general manager, Frazer Bouchier, says negotiations for the sale are under way and its ownership could change next month.

Mr Bouchier says money owed to creditors is part of the negotiations but re-employment of the 1700 laid off miners are not part of the talks.

He says that would depend on the buyer.

An earlier report said up to eight companies were bidding to buy the mine, including one Canadian and several local groups.