Fiji landowners set conditions for bauxite mining

A truck runs toward the Bauxite pile at the third mining site in Dreketi, Macuata. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

A truck runs toward the Bauxite pile at the third mining site in Dreketi, Macuata. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Bauxite mining

Serafina Silaitoga | The Fiji Times

THE vanua of Wainunu in Bua has agreed to bauxite mining.

However it has made its stand clear that proper preliminary work needs to be done first including an environment impact assessment report.

Tui Wainunu Ratu Orisi Baleitavea confirmed the bose vanua of Wainunu (traditional leaders meeting) held in Daria Village last week agreed to open doors to bauxite company Aurum Exploration (Fiji) Ltd.

“We will not have bauxite mining in our district anytime soon but at a later stage after all preliminary works are carried out properly in an accountable and transparent manner,” he said.

“Although we have agreed, we are seriously considering the impact it will have on the environment especially the rivers and streams in our district.

“There also needs to be a sustainable plan for the surrounding of Wainunu. So while we have opened options to have bauxite mining in our district, we are also looking at ensuring that the activities will be controlled.”

Ratu Orisi said the meeting agreed that landowning issues would be looked at following reports that landowners waived their rights when they signed up leases with the Land Bank Unit.

“We will make sure and it will be our priority that our people are all happy and satisfied with whatever lease deals we will carry out,” he said.

“The bauxite mining will also bring a lot of benefits to our people like employment and income earning opportunities.”

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Filed under Environmental impact, Fiji, Human rights

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