15 Aug 2011

Enviro impact study of proposed Fiji mine to be completed this year

1:52 pm on 15 August 2011

The University of the South Pacific aims to complete its Environmental Impact Assessment of a proposed copper mine near Suva by the end of the year.

A final decision on whether the Namosi Joint Venture between Australian mining company Newcrest, Japan's Nittetsu Mining Company and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation will go ahead hinges in part on the University's study.

The Director of the Institute of Applied Science, Bill Aalbersberg, says there are a number of environmental concerns that need to be addressed before the mine can be built.

Particularly when large amounts of rock is moved.

"There's some fine material called tailings that goes into a tailings dam. The maintenance of the integrity of that dam is critical. And also acidity can develop that activates some of the heavy metals that can go into the environment so a process needs to be done to minimise the impacts on the rivers."

Public meetings are being held this week and next to inform the public about the project.