2 Oct 2019

New Nauru Govt puts focus on country's future prosperity

12:12 pm on 2 October 2019

Nauru's new government plans to review the Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation and the state-owned miner RONPHOS.

The scars of phosphate mining on Nauru's high ground.

The scars of phosphate mining on Nauru's high ground. Photo: Sean Kelleher

The minister of both entities, Reagan Aliklik, said the aim of the reviews would be to ensure Nauru's future prosperity.

Samples of Nauru phosphate were sent to Taiwan last week, fueling hopes RONPHOS could become profitable, Mr Aliklik said.

"The Taiwanese are no doubt interested in what we are doing here, and last week we sent over 2kg samples of both primary and secondary phosphate," he said.

"The mining of phosphate has certainly improved over recent years - there have been many advances in how surveying and drilling for example, are being conducted."

As for the Rehabilitation Corporation, the minister said he wanted it to have a greater focus on restoring Nauru's high ground.

"That's because we don't have enough space on the lower area on the coastal side, which causes a lot of overcrowding.

"We need to work on the higher ground to be able to provide more space."

Phosphate mining has scarred Nauru's interior, leaving a terrain of rocky pillars unsuitable for development.

But the island's coastal land is vulnerable to the impacts of global warming, especially sea level rise, Mr Aliklik said.

"More than 90 percent of Nauruans live on the coastal fringe, and all the country's critical infrastructure is on the coast - including schools, the hospital, government buildings, police headquarters, the airport and the majority of businesses."

Mr Aliklik said he wanted to meet with the boards of both corporations early this month.