Tag Archives: mine workers

Bauxite workers in Solomon Islands left unpaid

Radio New Zealand | 7 March 2019 

A bauxite company in Solomon Islands is accused of failing to pay its workers for more than a month.

Bintan Mining Solomon Islands is operating the mine which supplied bauxite to the ship leaking oil off Rennell island.

Workers have told the Island Sun newspaper that they have not received their salaries for the last month and are unable to feed their families.

The workers are from several provinces but also from abroad, including Indonesia and China.

One worker said he was considering stopping operations on his land until the company paid the outstanding salaries.

“I think the incident (oil leak) has nothing to do with our salaries because the company should have a separate budget to continue pay workers’ salaries,” he said.

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Terrifying moment of Brazil dam collapse caught on camera

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Maru Supports Morobe’s Stand On No ‘Fly In Fly Out’

Ummm… “The best resource project that I have seen in my lifetime is the Bougainville copper mining project”.

Post Courier | January 18, 2019

National Planning Richard Maru has come out publicly to support the stance taken by the Morobe provincial government to oppose ‘fly in fly out’ arrangement for workers of the Wafi-Golpu project.

This is the first time a very senior member of Government has come out on the issue that has been a critical mainstay of discussions and forums by landowners and leaders alike in the Morobe province.

Minister Maru said if there was one thing that his government was taking away from mineral development, it was learning from previous Governments mistakes to not getting the best deal for the country.

“In this new deals that we want to put together for this country, under the new mining agreement for Wafi Golpu and Freida and even the second LNG project we are going to make sure that Papua New Guinea benefits more than any other resource projects in the past.

“I want place on record, this morning (yesterday) that I support the position taken by the Governor of Morobe and the people of Morobe that there will be no fly in fly out in the Wafi Golpu project.

“As planning minister we are already planning for a township at Nadzap and long term employees for Wafi-Golpu as far as I am concerned must live in Morobe and the income they generate must be used in Papua New Guinea, spent in Papua New Guinea, so we get back GST and the money must re-circulate within our economy,” Minister Maru said yesterday.

He said the situation where all resources are being depleted, all the monies end up in other countries all contribute to current issues being such as foreign currency shortages.

“As planning minister I do not support that, I want to see maximum benefit, families living here better, schools being built with the support of the resource companies, better towns being built.

“I want to say this and I make no apology to anyone. The best resource project that I have seen in my lifetime is the Bougainville copper mining project.

“They not only built a copper mine, they built a town, the best hospital, a supermarket, they provided international schools and all the families who were there and the benefits trickled around Bougainville.”

He said the model of BCL is need in the country.

“This is what will help to keep up the maximum revenue flows within this country and make sure that our country and this people will benefit of the wealth of our resources.”

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Goldmine tragedy in Fiji

An aerial view of the Vatukoula Gold Mine outside Tavua.

An aerial view of the Vatukoula Gold Mine outside Tavua. Picture: VGML

Repeka Nasiko | Fiji Times | 3 January, 2019

A 47-year-old Chinese national died instantly after rocks fell on his head at a Vatukoula Gold Mine Ltd shaft last weekend.

Police Intelligence and Investigation chief ACP Vakacegu Toduadua said the accident occurred at the mining company’s Dolphin Shaft early Saturday, December 29, 2018.

“A rock fell on the head of a 47-year-old Chinese national who died instantly at the scene while a second 48-year-old Chinese national received injuries,” he said.

“Both were taken to Lautoka Hospital. “A post-mortem (examination) of the deceased has been completed and we have yet to receive the report from the Mineral Resources Department mine inspectors to ascertain the negligence part of the management.”

Meanwhile, Mineral Resources Department acting director Apete Soro said their officials were alerted of the fatal accident last Saturday.

“The ministry through the Mineral Resources Department was informed around 1:15 am of the accident which occurred an hour earlier,” he said.

“A team from the department, which included the manager of the mining division who is a mine engineer and his assistant, were mobilised to Vatukoula the same night and confirmed upon arrival that one male fatality and another male was admitted to Tavua Hospital.

“The latter was later transferred to Lautoka Hospital, but has since been discharged.”

He said an investigation by the department was in progress.

“The team are currently undertaking preliminary investigation which will then lead to the Board of Inquiry under the discretion of the Director of Mines.”

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Vatukoula Gold Mines To Recruit 200 More Workers

Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited.

Charles Chambers | Fiji Sun | November 20, 2018

Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited (“VGML”) is looking to recruit 200 more employees to fill the  vacant positions for their underground operations.

The mining company is working with Western provincial administrators based in Ba and Rakiraki on a village-based recruitment programme.

The intent of the project is to encourage young men from rural areas of Fiji to take up employment as underground miners at Vatukoula Gold Mines while maintaining their links to their communities.

These links will be maintained by means of:

  • A roster which will enable two weeks off every six weeks.
  • Transport will be facilitated to the employee’s community and return to Vatukoula on conclusion of their two week community break.
  • As part of their application and selection process, each applicant will be encouraged and required to commit to a specific project in their home community e.g. building a residence, a farming venture, communal building project etc.

Criteria

Young men who meet the criteria for employment will be offered free shared accommodation, inclusive of all services (electricity, water) and the services of a cook but contributing to the cost of their meals out of their wages.

Land for planting of root and vegetable crops will be made available and the opportunity to lower their food purchase  costs by supplying from their home villages and being compensated out of their food budget.

VGML will also provide the services of a Community Relations Officer (“CRO”) as a mentor for all participants in the scheme.

The present CRO is the former head teacher of the Vatukoula Primary School, Serupepeli Koroitubuna.

Recruitment

The CRO will liaise with relevant Government agencies to facilitate the employee’s project wherever possible and will also provide guidance in financial literacy and extracurricular activities designed to grow the employee’s life skills.

To date the company has recruited 12 young men from the villages of Balevuto and Toge from rural Ba and Namauimada and Naboutolu in Ra.

The new employees undergo four weeks of surface induction which involves safety, how to handle themselves in different situations and first aid to name a few.

They are then taken underground for a further six months training under strict supervision.

VGML Corporate Services manager Dini Laufenboeck said the feedback had been very encouraging but that the mines would strictly monitor conditions going forward.

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Former Mine Staff Make Call-Out

Mount Kare mine workers have been abandoned

Post Courier | June 25 2018

Former employees of Summit Development Limited (SDL) are calling on the company to settle their outstanding payments.

Kenneth Cornelius, a former employee representing those affected, said they were laid off in 2014 when the company’s license was cancelled and were eventually terminated without proper settlement. The prolonged delay in settling the outstanding debts due to license refusal and lengthy court processes had extremely affected their families and beneficiaries.

“We, the representatives of former national hire employees, contractors and consultants of Summit Development, a subsidiary of Indochine Mining Limited (IDC) in Australia, have been very silent and patient for more than three years when Summit Development Ltd pursued its license renewal and their judicial review court case in relation to the cancellation of their exploration license 1093,” Mr Cornelius said.

“Without even settling our outstanding debts, our employment contracts with SDL were unmercifully terminated on March 2016. Upon issuing our termination notices, we were only assured by the company management that our outstanding debts and bills will be settled in full once the exploration license EL 1093 is renewed.

“As members of the Mt Kare Project technical team, we have successfully delivered very important achievements for the project, especially the land investigation study, land investigation report, customary land surveys, pre-feasibility studies and land mediation,” Mr Cornelius said.

He said the exploration license renewal was not a condition of their employment contracts with SDL and should not be given as an excuse for not settling them. Around 120 employees, consultants and services providers are affected.

“The National Court Judge Leka Nablu had handed down her final judgment ruling in favour of the former mining minister and State on April 27, 2018, which is not to renew SDL license. Thus we strongly demand that Indochine mining company management voluntarily settle us before they can pursue their judicial review appeal at the Supreme Court,” he said.

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Fiji’s mining and quarring industry a problem sector: Dr Gangopadhyay

Mining of bauxite in Bua. The mining and quarrying industry in Fiji has been labelled as a “problem sector” by Australian-based consultant Dr Partha Gangopadhyay. Picture: FT FILE

Mere Naleba | The Fiji Times | 26 May, 2018

THE mining and quarrying industry in Fiji has been labelled as a “problem sector” by Australian-based consultant Dr Partha Gangopadhyay who was hired by Government to conduct a review on the national minimum wage.

Dr Gangopadhyay a Professor in the School of Business at the Western Sydney University made the comments while discussing the 10 sectorial industries at a consultation organised by the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations.

“I don’t have to tell you but this is a problem sector by now, most of the mines have been depleted, exhausted. Resources have been taken away or have gone too deep, productivity rate is very slow, productivity growth since last year is 0.5 per cent and our concern is this sector brought a lot of resources, a lot of money to Fiji, a lot of employment, a lot of skill development and today it is a struggling sector,” Dr Gangopadhyay said.

The proposed minimum wage for those in the mining and quarry industries is to have a wage increase by 1.029 per cent.

The current national minimum wage is $2.68.

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