11 May 2005

Fiji's Emperor Gold Mine in talks with government and unions

10:13 am on 11 May 2005

Fiji's Emperor Gold Mine is holding discussions with government and the union over its plans to move the operation into profit.

Earlier this month, the company predicted that gold production could drop by 20 per cent in June.

Various production issues have been encountered including difficulties in equipment giving access to one of the shafts and flooding in other parts of the mine.

Fiji's Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources, Samisoni Tikonisau, says the government is waiting for submissions from the company on what sort of help it can offer:

"I think there is something in the pipeline to the Ministry of Finance, given whatever the request that they may have, we will certainly look at that."

The Mineworkers Union of Fiji has been told that the company's poor production could mean that several hundred workers either lose their jobs or be stood down for a time.

The mine employs around two thousand two hundred workers and contractors.