Government puts mining industry ahead of the public in ‘consultation’ process…
Salaseini Moceiwai | Fiji Times
THE Mining Act is presently being reviewed by the Mineral Resources Department.
This was confirmed by the permanent secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources Tevita Boseiwaqa at the National Youth Council of Fiji-organised youth symposium on natural resources management at the Holiday Inn in Suva over the weekend.
While responding to queries raised by a Bua youth, Veresa Ceguadrau on the need for young people to partake in the establishment of a formula for mineral royalties alongside Government, Mr Boseiwaqa said they were working on two documents.
“One is the renewal of the Mining Act and we have done consultations within the technical areas,” he said.
“We are just trying to get the mining industry, the mining council and other relevant stakeholders on board before we package all the documents and go out to the public for wider consultations.”
The second document, Mr Boseiwaqa said was the royalties.
“Royalties are of great importance and we are going to take different consultations on this.
“A technical committee is working on this. I believe they already held two meetings that included relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Finance and also the A-G’s office.
“From there, we will take it up to the public for comment, if this is endorsed it will be taken to Cabinet and if it’s approved, then we will incorporate it into the Mining Act. This is basically the process and we will ensure the youths too will be involved in this consultation.”
Meanwhile, the youth participants have also recommended that the department hold dialogue sessions with the landowning units in terms of exploration code of conducts.
They said any company that wanted to do development projects on their land must first present their interest to the landowners.
The two-day symposium that ended on Saturday was funded by the UNDP.