18 Apr 2011

Fiji interim government promises to fund relocation of former mine workers

3:41 pm on 18 April 2011

Government officials from Fiji's Western Divison are promising to pay former workers of the Vatukoula gold mine who are being forced out of the settlement adjacent to the mine.

The more than 200 former employees and their families have been told they must move out by December, as they are living on the company's land.

The mine was closed in 2006 by former owners, Emperor Mines Limited and reopened in 2008 by a new company, Vatukoula Gold Mines Plc.

The commissioner of Fiji's Western Division, Joeli Cawaki, says the owners want the former workers to move out, so the current employees can live on site.

He says the government is promising to pay the relocation costs as well as helping them to resettle.

"We need to find the land and the cost of moving these people to the land, and the subdivision of the land and also building of their houses, and maybe finding funds for them to start off in the new location."

Joeli Cawaki says the mine's owners will also help with the relocation costs.