Push against phosphate mining in French Polynesia

2:55 pm on 24 October 2016

A petition has been launched by two associations in a bid to halt the planned resumption of phosphate mining on French Polynesia's Makatea atoll.

The mines were abandoned in 1966 but an Australian company Avenir Makatea has been exploring the raised atoll for two years after the French Polynesian government gave it a licence.

Two associations, Fatu Fenua no Makatea and Rupe no Makatea, petition against phosphate mining

Two associations, Fatu Fenua no Makatea and Rupe no Makatea, petition against phosphate mining Photo: change.org website

The associations, Fatu Fenua no Makatea and Rupe no Makatea, want the French environment minister Segolene Royal to intervene and save the island from exploitation.

A member of the associations Sabrina Birk said the exploration was done without the consent of the landowners who now fear expropriation.

"You cannot expropriate people if it's not in the general interest, public interest. And mining is not public interest; this is for economic reasons," she said.

The petition said after the French nuclear weapons tests on Moruroa another destruction is looming.

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