Fiji: Mining Act review to determine shares

Siteri Sauvakacolo | The Fiji Times

LANDOWNERS of Fiji’s first bauxite mine at Nawailevu in Bua are yet to get their fair share of royalty because a formula to determine it will be part of the review of the Mining Act.

And until that happens, royalties will be held in trust by Government.

This was clarified by Lands Minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa in Parliament on Friday.

Last Monday, Opposition parliamentarian Mosese Bulitavo told Parliament that Nawailevu landowners managed to buy only two twin cabs, set up a village canteen, improve their homes, invest in Fijian Holdings Ltd and also a $600,000 fair share of royalty for the future generation compared with the landowners of Papua New Guinea western and southerland highland province.

Mr Bulitavo said the PNG landowners were shareholders of PNG’s mineral resource development company and had invested in the Fiji economy through the Grand Pacific Hotel and the Pearl Resort South Pacific as they were selling minerals through their own investment company.

He also said the State had derived income through royalty, tax and landowners benefited through leases and a fair share of royalty.

President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in his official Parliament address on September 14 highlighted that the Mining Act would be one of the existing laws that would be reviewed in the new Parliament session.

Ms Vuniwaqa asked landowners to contact her directly should they need clarifications.

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Filed under Fiji, Financial returns, Human rights

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