25 Jul 2012

Niue eyes gold and copper mining

3:03 pm on 25 July 2012

The premier of Niue Toke Talagi says negotiations are underway with an overseas company to explore for gold and copper on the island.

He says mining could rival tourism as a way to boost the economy.

Sally Round reports from Niue.

"Toke Talagi says negotiations with an Australian and New Zealand company could be finalised by the end of the year, which could lead to long-term mining on Niue. He says a deal is yet to be finalised, but would mean a license to explore for the precious metals. The Premier says environmental assessments and feasibility studies are part of the negotiations. But the Premier says increasing tourism is Niue's present focus. He has welcomed the New Zealand government-led Pacific mission to the country today, in Niue for the official opening of the New Zealand-supported Matavai hotel extension. Toke Talagi wants to see a three-fold boost to tourism in coming years."