24 Feb 2012

Namosi mining project in Fiji on hold while rehabilitation carried out

2:36 pm on 24 February 2012

Rehabilitation work is underway in Fiji in the areas that have been used for exploration by the company wanting to mine copper and gold near Suva.

The interim prime minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama recently assumed responsibility for negotiations over the Namosi Joint Venture, a partnership between the Australian mining company Newcrest and Japanese interests, following opposition from some landowners.

The permament secretary of the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Filimone Kau, says the freeze on the company's exploratory work is still in place.

"Exploration is on hold until the prime minister and the people decide on when it should resume. The focus for us now is to do rehabilitation, basically address some of the issues that have been highlighted by the landowners and agreed by the government that needs to be done right away."

Filimone Kau says the Environmental Impact Assessment being carried out by the University of the South Pacific is also on hold.