11 Feb 2014

Opposition to proposed mine in Fiji played down

2:55 pm on 11 February 2014

The head of Fiji's Mineral Resources Department is playing down suggestions of a stand-off between landowners and a mine developer.

The Namosi Joint Venture is a partnership between the Australian company Newcrest and Japanese interests and has been held up at various stages due to environmental concerns.

The developers are still at the exploratory stage of a proposed gold and copper mine in Namosi, near Suva.

A landowner told Radio New Zealand International that their relationship with the company has deteriorated to the point where they are completely opposed to any mining plans.

But the director of the Mineral Resources Department, Malakai Finau, says that's not the case.

"As far as I know there are no major problems between the two but there are some problems from time to time, there are issues, the landowners or the company bring up but at the moment as far as I know the work is continuing as usual."

Malakai Finau says it could be another year before the Environmental Impact Assessment is completed.