15 Aug 2011

Decision on a mining development near Suva a year away

9:13 am on 15 August 2011

A final decision on whether a potentially huge mining development in Fiji can go ahead is still a year away.

The Acting Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources says the Namosi Joint Venture aims to apply for a licence to build a copper mine near Suva by June next year.

Pene Baleinabuli says it could then take up to two years to build the mine.

Mr Baleinabuli says the proposed mine could significantly improve Fiji's economy.

"The estimated revenue will be about a billion-Fijian-dollars per annum. That is in addition to our current gold mine at Vatukoula, the bauxite mine at Vanua Levu and few other smaller mines that are currently being considered. The mining sector stands to contribute very significantly to the nation's economy."

Mr Baleinabuli says Environmental Impact Assessment studies have to be conducted before the mine can be built.