13 Aug 2007

Recruitment of miners for Fiji gold mine expected to begin this week

12:44 pm on 13 August 2007

The recruiting of miners for Fiji's Vatukoula gold mine is expected to begin from this week.

The mayor of the nearby town of Tavua, Chandra Singh, says the district is relieved to hear that the mine is to restart operations after a deal was reached between the Australian company, Westech, and the interim government late last week.

Mr Singh says the closure of Vatukoula in December hit the district hard with 1,700 workers laid off.

He says although up to 800 miners have left the area, there are still a lot of skilled people who will be looking for work at the mine.

"Initially, I believe that they will be employing about 200 people so that they can get a lot of cleaning up done at the mine and at the mill and get the mine ready for operation. We're hoping that by the end of the year we should about 700 workers back at the mine."

The mayor of Tavua, Chandra Singh.