14 Mar 2007

Fiji interim cabinet endoses sale of Vatukoula goldmine

9:03 am on 14 March 2007

Fiji's interim cabinet has endorsed the sale of the closed down Vatukoula gold mine by the Emperor Gold Mining Company Limited to an Australian company.

A statement from the interim Prime Minister's office says the government's role is to ensure that all the obligations and liabilities of Emperor are taken care of by the buyer.

These include redundancy payments and compensation claims from miners.

But the industrial advisor of the Fiji Mine Workers Union, Kavekini Navuso has expressed disappointment with the sale.

Mr Navuso has told the Fiji Sun they understand the sale is to a company called West Tech which they suspect is a subsidiary of Emperor.

Mr Navuso says the same company will operate the mine under a new name.

He has expressed concern about the fate of over 1,700 miners laid off when the mine was closed without notice on the day of the December 5 military takeover.