Fiji: Newcrest tries to defend operations in face of landowner opposition


NJV: Only Mineral Exploration And Technical Studies For Namosi Now

Rachna Lal | Fiji Sun

The Namosi Joint Venture has once again reiterated that no mining activities have begun for the proposed Namosi Mine.

Country manager, Greg Morris, has stated it will be undertaking mineral exploration and technical studies but not mining.

The company’s Special Prospecting Licence (SPL) 1420 has been renewed for the period April 1, 2015 until March 31, 2020 by the Government.

See also:
Fiji landowners reject mining
Ninety-two percent oppose mining exploration
Mineral Resource Department has no respect for landowners

Mr Morris confirmed they are also aware of some landowner objections to this renewed license.

But he said the SPL renewal went through a very thorough and comprehensive review process by the Government.

“We acknowledge the diligence of the Minister and Ministry officials in this process and that the majority of landowners within the SPL supported the SPL renewal,” he said.

Mr Morris further assured:

“NJV has in conjunction with the landowners completed all the rehabilitation work associated with past exploration activity which has been signed off by Government and Landowner representatives.”

Community contribution

Further to this, Mr Morris confirmed that over the past five years, the Namosi Joint Venture has used over $2.8 million as part of its community assistance programme in Namosi.

The company’s community programmes have included support for a variety of programmes in its host communities and surrounding villages in the order to $900,000.

It has also provided tertiary education assistance to 856 students to a value of $978,000.

As well as the company has made compensation payments of $960,000 to those Mataqali where they undertake exploration activities.

“Land owner and community consultation is a feature of our approach to date and this will continue,” Mr Morris said.

“Our commitment is to ensure that the landowners and local communities are fully-informed of our activities.

“Environmental management aspects are incorporated into all NJV activities and NJV will continue to take its environmental and community responsibilities seriously.”

The renewal

The Special Prospecting Licence renewal allows the Namosi Joint Venture to progress the Environmental and Social Impact assessment studies for the Waisoi Project.

Mr Morris said it allows them to undertake further mineral exploration within the Special Prospecting Licence area as well as ongoing community development programmes.

“The Waisoi Project is in the prefeasibility study stage and NJV is undertaking an extensive environmental and social impact assessment,” he said,

“No decision has been made to develop the project.

“Once completed, the environmental and social impact assessment will be presented to government.

“This is so that an informed assessment can be made as to the projects impacts and benefits and whether a mine at Waisoi can be built safely, economically and in an environmentally acceptable manner.”

Some General background:

The Namosi Joint Venture (NJV) is a group of three companies who have come together to explore for and potentially mine mineral resources in Namosi and Naitasiri Provinces.

  • NJV includes Newcrest (Fiji) Ltd (70%), Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (28%) and Nittetsu Mining Co. Ltd (2%). Newcrest is the operator and manager of the NJV.
  • NJV has been granted a Special Prospecting License (SPL 1420) by the Fiji Government to explore for minerals in the Namosi region, about 30kms west of Suva. The licence area is primarily in Namosi and Naitasiri Provinces.
  • In addition to exploration, NJV is studying whether a gold and copper mine could be developed at Waisoi in Namosi.
  • The Government has confirmed that under the Environmental Act 2005, the Waisoi Project requires an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to be undertaken to assess the potential impacts of a mine in the area.
  • The Waisoi Project ESIA is underway and is anticipated to be completed in late 2016.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Exploration, Fiji, Human rights

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