28 Feb 2007

Fiji hopes for smooth ownership change at Vatakoula mine

4:24 pm on 28 February 2007

Fiji's interim government says it is keen to facilitate a smooth process between the exit of the Emperor Gold Mining Company and the entrance of a new operator at Vatukoula.

The advisor to the Prime Ministers Office Parmesh Chand has confirmed that three companies have already met the interim government on the proposals to purchase Emperor Gold Mine shares.

Mr Chand says the government is convinced that there is potential to keep the mine going and would like to work with interested parties to facilitate this process.

He says the government wants to give the mine a chance of being operational in the future, because it's important to many Fijians' livelihood.

"The licence for mining is specific to the company so that would come into play, the various incentives given, including concessions in terms of tax and duty, so that will be the government's role to play and to resolve. And there are other issues including obligations to employees in the community."

Parmesh Chand