11 Jul 2007

Fiji miners hope for deal to restart Vatukoula mine

1:40 pm on 11 July 2007

The Fiji mine workers union hopes that the interim administration and the Australian company interested in taking over the Vatukoula gold mine will reach an agreement.

Westech Gold Limited is interested in taking over the closed gold mine, but has now threatened to withdraw if it can't reach a satisfactory solution with the interim administration before the end of the month.

The company and the interim administration are holding negotiations over the issue.

The mine workers' union general secretary, Satish Chandra, says they want the mine to go into production as soon as possible to ensure the livelihoods of its clients.

"We are waiting for the outcome and as far as as the union [is] concerned, we want to see that the process goes easily, smoothly. What we want [is] for the people to be able to get their weekly earnings and survival for their families."

Satish Chandra says close to 10 000 people have been affected by the closure.