12 Jul 2007

Australian mining company gives Interim administration deadline over concessions

10:07 am on 12 July 2007

Westech Gold Limited, the company that is interested in restarting operations at the closed Vatukoula mine in Fiji, says it wants to re-start mining there as soon as possible.

The future of the mine hangs in the balance amid a dispute over operating conditions.

Westech Gold has now given Fiji's interim regime a deadline to make a decision on a number of key issues, including tax concessions and the waiving of royalty payments for three years.

In return, a company spokesperson, Brian Wesson, says the company has offered to repay fuel costs and employ contract labourers that maintain the mine.

Mr Wesson says they want to speed up the timeframe for the right to mine.

"We gave the interim administration a deadline to say we have done our numbers, and we pay for the fuel and the labour subject to getting it all done by this week, because that's what the budget is sitting at. If it doesn't get done, by the end of the week, obviously we must re-look at our numbers."

Brian Wesson says the company is losing about 200 thousand dollars a day.

Mr Wesson says they are not considering backing out.