25 Jan 2013

Namosi landowners opposed to mine project in Fiji

5:23 pm on 25 January 2013

Landowners from a district in Fiji near Suva where a gold and copper mine is planned are still opposed to the project and say the company behind the venture has betrayed them.

The Namosi Joint venture is a partnership between the Australian mining company Newcrest and Japanese interests.

Early last year the interim prime minister Frank Bainimarama put exploratory work on hold in response to opposition from Namosi and Naitisiri landowners, then later allowed work to resume, on the basis that the company had addressed environmental concerns.

A landowner, who wished to remain unnamed, says rehabilitation works by the company won't address the long-term environmental effects of the mine, and the majority of landowners are still against it.

"We feel that it's not good for us, we want to save the environment, we want to save the next generation. So basically this project is not helpful even though it will be financially beneficial, but it will spoil the environment forever."

The man says the company has made many false promises such as offering education assistance but says its selection criteria is so high, it rules many people out.