24 Feb 2012

Namosi mining project still on hold in Fiji while rehabilitation carried out

12:47 pm on 24 February 2012

Rehabilitation work is underway in Fiji in the areas that have been used for exploration by the company wanting to mine copper and gold near Suva.

The interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama recently assumed responsibility for negotiations over the Namosi Joint Venture, a partnership between the Australian mining company Newcrest and Japanese interests, following opposition from some landowners.

Commodore Bainimarama this week approved the rehabilitation action plan.

The permament secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Filimone Kau, says the exploratory work, which the company agreed to halt earlier this month, is still on hold.

He says once the company completes the rehabilitation work by the end of March, the interim prime minister will decide how the project will move forward.

The Environmental Impact Assessment being carried out by the University of the South Pacific has also been put on hold.