Green light for mining
Serafina Silaitoga | The Fiji Times | May 20, 2016
A LANDOWNING unit in Wainunu, Bua on Vanua Levu has given consent for bauxite mining in the district.
Although the district meeting held at Daria Village this week did not identify the mataqali, Tui Wainunu Ratu Orisi Baleitavea confirmed that a landowning unit had given its approval.
In an interview with this newspaper, Ratu Orisi said the district development board had worked closely with the company to ensure landowners were well informed about bauxite mining issues.
“This is very important and we have had one landowning unit approve of mining in the district and the rest will follow suit,” he said.
“We have considered employment opportunities and a boost to income for our people so after awareness programs in villages and the visitation by chiefs, the landowners are coming forward.
“All we had to do was properly inform them and make them aware about the bauxite mining procedures and what it involves.”
At the district meeting, company representative and geologist, Isireli Dagaga told the villagers they had worked closely with government authorities and the provincial council in ensuring villagers of Wainunu were kept informed about bauxite mining.
Mr Dagaga, originally of Wainunu, assured the meeting of chiefs that he would never let anything affect his families and relatives in the district.
He questioned whether the civil societies and youth groups criticising bauxite mining had contacted the company seeking clarification.
He also said anyone with issues regarding bauxite mining or wanted to know more about it was to seek his assistance.