No Grounds To Reject Licence, Says Ps For Mineral Resources
Maika Bolatiki | Fiji Sun
The Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) was given an exploration licence because there were no grounds to reject its application, says Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources Tevita Boseiwaqa.
He was yesterday reacting to the claim by the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee (TNLC) that they were not consulted on the issue of the licence.
TNLC co-chair Agavito Koroimanono told the media that there was no consultation made and they wanted NJV to stop the exploration on their land.
“The Prime Minister had once stopped the exploration and now they are still continuing with the agreement of the Minister for Lands and Minerals by renewing the exploration licence SPL 1420,” Mr Koroimanono said.
He said they were never asked to give their consent, so their voices weren’t heard.
Mr Boseiwaqa however said when NJV applied for the renewal of the licence they had to follow procedures before the approval was made.
The Ministry of Land and Mineral Resources officers led by the Deputy Permanent Secretary and the director of lands had visited the villages to hear from the landowners themselves and they had given their support.
“Their voices were heard.”
They then made their technical verification and also certified the support on the ground.
He said they concluded that NJV had fulfilled all the requirements needed and there was no ground for them to reject the application.
“All the landowners gave their support.”
However, Mr Koroimanono maintained they had been ignored and demanded NJV to stop the exploration. He said they would now seek a meeting with the Prime Minister as they represented the majority of the landowners.
They were totally against mining in Namosi and wanted another type of development carried out on their lands earmarked for mining exploration.
He said as of yesterday they had received no replies to all their correspondences in regard to the issue and this included the Prime Minister’s Office.