Bauxite mining issue raised during Sodelpa’s constituency meeting
Vijay Narayan and Rusiate Baleilevuka | Fiji Village
A series of claims about the Bauxite Mining in Nawailevu, Bua have been brought up by some residents of Jittu Estate in Suva during Sodelpa’s constituency meeting.
A resident asked the Sodelpa MP’s on what measures have been taken to see the value and amount of Bauxite that has been extracted from the soils in Nawailevu.
He says that he has been in contact with the landowners.
Sodelpa’s MP Mikaele Leawere says the government has no formula at the moment to measure the amount of Bauxite that has been leaving our shores.
Leawere adds that they have been receiving a lot of complaints on this issue.
Earlier this month, Lands and Mineral Resources Minister, Mereseini Vuniwaqa said the government and Aurum Exploration are working out a way to determine the amount of bauxite that has been mined in Nawailevu.
She adds that the royalty payment is being held in trust with the Mineral Resources Department until the fair share is determined after the consultations as stated in the constitution.
Vuniwaqa also confirmed in parliament that public consultations will be held soon on the determination of the fair share of royalty to be paid to the Nawailevu landowners.
She also highlighted that Aurum Exploration Fiji Limited has paid the premium and rent payable for the surface lease, while lease and premium for access to the mining, camp, quarry and stockpile sites have also been paid.
Vuniwaqa says the company has also paid the fisheries rights compensation and the rock royalty.
Vuniwaqa says payments yet to be accessed by the landowners are the future generation fund and royalties in relation to the extraction of bauxite.
She says the Ministry is currently sorting out certain issues in relation to the setting up of the trust funds in the relevant mataqali’s.
This is being sorted out before the mataqali can access these funds.