Unit monitors State land and mineral resources
Serafina Silaitoga | The Fiji Times | September 24, 2016
THE Mineral Resources Department has upgraded its environment unit to properly monitor and control development of State land or mineral resources.
Acting director Apete Soro said the unit, under the mines’ division and part of the mineral department, would have clear roles.
“We have upgraded the environment unit and this will ensure the approvals granted by the respective directors (director of lands and director of mines) for development of State land or mineral resources are monitored and controlled,” he said.
“This is according to the provisions of the Acts (Environment Management Act and Mining Act) and any special conditions of approvals in safeguarding the environment.
“For mining, special conditions are set to further ensure such protection in details are guaranteed. Companies have to produce monitoring, rehabilitation plans/programs that ensure environment compliance and protection, which are reviewed and approved by approving authorities.”
Mr Soro said the Mineral Resources Department carried out routine inspections at the bauxite mine in Bua.
In responding to comments by former lands minister Mereseini Vuniwaqa that bauxite mining had had negative impacts, which included emissions and dirty waterways, Mr Soro said they had done their routine checks.
“There are a number of ministries that are involved in environmental monitoring and the Ministry of Local Government Housing and Environment is the principal ministry as it has the mandate under the Department of Environment (director) through the Environment Management Act,” he said.
“This regulation is to ensure the protection of the environment from developments.”