13 Aug 2007

Fiji's Vatukoula goldmine is to reopen this week

10:39 am on 13 August 2007

Fiji's shut down Vatukoula gold mine will reopen this week following an agreement signed between the Australian company, Westech Gold, and the interim government on Friday night.

Westech's director, Brian Wesson, has told the Fiji Times 100 workers would be taken on immediately with the total rising to 600 when the mine is fully operational.

The Emperor Gold Mining Company shut down the Vatukoula mine in December last year laying off 1,700 workers.

Mr Wesson says the new management team is already in place and they are only looking for those who would work underground.

The company also has to pay the interim government the bill for the fuel used to generate electricity to prevent the flooding of the mine as well as workers who have been maintaining the mine.

The Mineworkers Union and the mayor of Tavua town have welcomed the move with the interim government saying they will release a statement later