12 Feb 2014

Fiji landowners say government keeping Namosi mine developer happy

2:58 pm on 12 February 2014

A landowners committee in Fiji says the government's priority is to keep the developers of a proposed gold and copper mine near Suva happy.

The Namosi Joint Venture has been held up at various stages due to environmental concerns and the developers are still at the exploratory stage.

The director of the Mineral Resources Department has played down suggestions of a stand-off between landowners and the developer and says there are regular meetings between the stakeholders.

But the spokesperson of the Namosi Tikina Landowners Committee, Sipiriano Nariva, says those meetings are a waste of time for landowners.

"I've been sitting about 10 times in those meetings but whenever we bring up issues from the landowners it seems to be a pending issue in this forum but when something happens to the company, the government very quickly step in to find a way forward."

Sipiriano Nariva says the committee believes the prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, is sympathetic to their concerns.