1 Mar 2007

Vanuatu drafts mining legislation that will proect environment first

4:15 pm on 1 March 2007

Vanuatu's Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources says the government will prioritise environmental protection as it looks to develop the country's mining potential.

Maxime Carlot Korman says the government is developing a new Mining Act legislation and is looking to Papua New Guinea's

new mining legislation as a model framework.

Mr Korman recently addressed the 3rd Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Mining Ministers meeting in Perth about the key challenges to mining development in the region, which include environmental degradation.

The Minister says Vanuatu's mining commission is working hard with experts to draft the legislation:

"We're taking into consideration PNG's new mining legislation. And it will be based more on the environment, you see. We are a small country and so before entering exploration we have to take be careful in the mining, we have to secure the environment first."

Mr Korman says he will present the legislation to parliament in the middle of the year.