FIJI: Newcrest plans to mine in protected rainforest

Namosi Joint Venture proposes to mine in Sovi Basin but the area has been set aside as a protected rain forest.

Master plan to address overlapping leases

Epeli Tukuwasa | FBC

Overlapping development works have been identified in the new National Land Master Plan says Director Land Use Samuela Naicegucegu.

Naicegucegu says one of the areas identified is the Sovi Basin which was issued with a Conservation Lease – only to be over-shadowed by a mining prospecting lease.

Namosi Joint Venture proposes to mine in Sovi Basin but the area has been set aside as a protected rain forest.

The land has been leased by Conservation International for 99 years starting from 1980.

Naicegucegu says this overlapping has eventuated because Ministries and departments weren’t coordinating in the past. Government Ministries and Institutions have been working in isolation without even realising how land in Fiji have been utilised.

The Master Plan should be complete by the end of this year for Cabinet approval and will put an end to overlapping leases.

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1 Comment

Filed under Environmental impact, Exploration, Fiji

One response to “FIJI: Newcrest plans to mine in protected rainforest

  1. pd12345

    There is a slight distortion of the facts that should be clarified.
    FACT: The NJV have a Special Prospecting Licence [SPL], the boundaries of which do impinge upon the Sovi basin at its extremities. This SPL is limited to mineral exploration, and is not an entitlement to mine in the Sovi basin, thus the Sovi basin is preserved from mining. Prospecting and Mining are two very different, distinctive activities, with one preceding the other. Prospecting does not automatically lead to mining and the holder of a Prospecting Licence does not provide an entitlement to mine. The mining activity is governed by the granting of a Mining Licence, which shall define the mine area, and would have to exclude the Sovi basin to be in observance of the Conservation Act and Lease. Under the Mining Act, there is no such instrument as a “Prospecting Mining License” – one cannot undertake mining under the guise of prospecting.
    FACT: The NJV Environmental Impact Assessment and proposed mine foot print does not extend into the Sovi basin, and NJV have no intention of mining in the Sovi basin. In any event, for any developer to have access to the Sovi basin conservation area, this must be approved under the T&C of the Conservation Act, which stipulates no development within the conservation area.
    FACT: The Departments in previous governments did coordinate and were aware of each other’s jurisprudence, understanding and acknowledging how the various pieces of legislations inter-related to each other and provided protection or rights accordingly. The proper functioning of goverment and the mechanisms of how this worked effectively seems to have been lost in recent times.

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