Tag Archives: Namosi

Economic benefits promised if Namosi Joint Venture operations begin

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

A drill pad site.

By Semi Turaga | Fiji Village |  16/02/2017

736 full time positions are expected to be created every year if the Namosi Joint Venture gets a mining license and starts mining operations.

This was revealed by the Project Manager of Namosi Joint Venture Greg Morris in a presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

Morris says the figures are based on a study about the economic benefits of the project which was done by a specialist consultant.

He also highlighted in the presentation that they expect a peak of 2,000 employees in the fourth year of the operation.

Morris says they also expect to generate $343 million in Gross Domestic Product per annum on average when the operation starts.

The Namosi Joint Venture was established in 2008 for the exploration and development of mineral resources in the Namosi area.

They currently have an exploration license.

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Govt consultations on experimental seabed mining have failed

resource roulette

Ropate Valemei | The Fiji Times | June 09, 2016

DESPITE Government’s claim that the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources had conducted wide consultations with key stakeholders to formulate a Draft Policy on Deep Sea Mining (DSM), the Government consultations have not included a broad cross section of Fijian civil society, the public, or indigenous and/or coastal communities.

This was revealed in a report by Blue Ocean Law and the Pacific Network on Globalisation on how deep sea mining and inadequate regulatory frameworks imperil the Pacific and its people, which was released early this week.

The report notes that Fiji’s Department of Environment (DOE) estimates that only about 40 per cent of educated people may be aware of DSM, and that coastal users and outlying communities are largely ignorant of what is happening with respect to DSM prospecting; the DOE reiterates the need for comprehensive consultations and awareness raising.

It further states that one commentator notes that the iTaukei Affairs Board, the TLTB, and the provincial and tikina councils — institutions mandated by statute to deliberate and make recommendations on developmental and other issues that impact the welfare, wellbeing, and good governance of the iTaukei or the indigenous peoples of Fiji — have not been seriously consulted regarding the development of a DSM framework.

With respect to the 2013 mining decree, it adds the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources reportedly organised a review of the law but did not include landowners or significant civil society organisations representation in its consultations and would have proceeded with finalising the law if not for an online petition protesting the lack of consultation.

Other consultations organised by the MRD in the past have been called off on short notice.

In a report staff at the Department of Mineral Resources recognises the need to both consult with and obtain consent from landowners and those communities located closest to potential DSM sites, but whether this will actually be done in the event of actual DSM remains to be seen.

“Awareness of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) throughout indigenous and local communities in Fiji is limited, and it appears that the government does not require FPIC from operators in its existing onshore mines.”

In existing cases involving terrestrial mining, it says there has been no FPIC, and even meaningful consultation is often lacking.

For instance, the mineral prospecting that has been going on in Namosi for more than 40 years, involving more than 15 companies, many landowners have repeatedly expressed opposition to mining, withholding their consent.

“Instead of heeding these clear expressions, mining companies have approached chiefs of local villages, who are not landowners, and paid them, or in some cases directly employed them, in order to gain their consent to mining on what, essentially, is not their land.”

In the case of the Bua bauxite mine, it states the agreement with the community was signed and negotiated by a third party hired by the Government, without any legal advice provided to the community; benefits from this mine are restricted to a small number of individual landowners, while the larger community receives nothing, a situation bound to create conflict as the whole community suffers the environmental impacts of the mine.

The report further note that the Tikina Namosi Landowner Committee (TNLC) notes that bribes occur at multiple stages of the process, from the local level up the ministerial chain; the putative “consent” obtained from individuals who have been paid by mining companies, in addition to being illegal under Fiji’s Constitution, does not equate to the FPIC of indigenous peoples or landowners.

In some cases, government officials have advised that 100 per cent of landowners surveyed expressed support for mining in Namosi; however, a survey conducted by the TNLC revealed that more than 90 per cent of the community (around 984 surveyed individuals and landowners) actually opposed prospecting.

Although the landowner system does necessitate more extensive consultation measures than other jurisdictions, the report notes that obtaining legitimate FPIC in Fiji is challenging.

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Fiji landowner bemoans lack of mining consultation

A drill pad site. Photo: Namosi Joint Venture

A Namosi drill pad site

Radio New Zealand

A landowner in Fiji’s Namosi region says their views were barely taken into account in the decision to renew a controversial mining exploration permit.

The Minerals Department this week granted a five year extenstion to the Namosi Joint Venture to search for minerals in the Namosi highlands, west of Suva.

Affected landowners complained in October that they had not given their approval and were opposed to the licence, saying the venture had caused serious environmental damage.

The prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, called an urgent meeting between the government, the venture and landowners to resolve the dispute.

But one of the landowners, Pedro Leveni from Waivaka village, says the consultation was superficial and it appears the government had already made up its mind.

“This meeting, the government just came to seek clarification, eh? They just want to hear the landowners view regarding the renewal of the SPL. But they’ve already renewed the SPL. It’s like fooling around the landowners.”

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Fiji: NJV exploration to continue

namosi exploration

Aliki Bia | Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

The Mineral Resource Department has stated that the five year extension of the exploration license given to the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV)will remain.

Director of Mineral Resource Malakai Finau confirmed this to FBC News this morning.

Finau says despite ongoing consultation with various landowning unit in Namosi, exploration will continue.

The consultation was a directive from the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama after he received complaints from villagers that the exploration is damaging and polluting the rivers in Namosi.

‘’A meeting was organized with the landowners about two weeks ago and this to be followed with the consultation with landowners and their various villagers which is currently in progress’’.

Upon the completion of the consultation process, the Mineral Resource Department will put together a report which will be submitted to the Prime Minister and a decision is expected to be made regarding the mineral exploration by NJV.

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Meeting to resolve Fiji row over mineral prospecting licence

namosi protest

Radio New Zealand

Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, has called an urgent meeting to resolve a row over a mineral prospecting license.

Namosi Joint Venture was awarded the license to search for minerals in the Namosi highlands, west of Suva.

Mr Bainimarama says he was told by the Minerals Resource Department that everyone had been consulted.

But a landowner in Waivaka Village, Pedro Leveni, told Bridget Grace they did not give approval.

PL: The Namosi Joint Venture is the join of three companies, two from Japan, Nittetsu Mining from Japan and Newcrest Mining from Australia joined together and they call themselves Namosi Joint Venture, that’s the company that is exploring minerals in our land.  They didn’t renew the SPL license in the last decade, and the last renewal is on the 15th of March this year and matagali, matagali is one of the land that is being targeted by this company, there is a lot of mineralisation in my land.  And seven matagalis discovered that this company has been destroying our environment, damaging our forest, and the flora and fauna, damaging it without good payment.  And that’s why we didn’t want to renew the SPL license.  At the end of the day what we have been understanding that, doing exploration for the last four decades, at the end of the day they will mine our land.  But we don’t want mining, that’s why we don’t want to renew the exploration license.

BG: Your village was consulted about the license and you said no?

PL: When the license expired in March 15th this year, the Minerals Department came around asking the landowners about their view, and seven matagalis that are involved in this exploration, the company’s targeting their land.  They don’t want, we don’t want the license to be renewed because of that reason, damaging the ecosystem, damaging the rivers, damaging the flora and fauna.  At the end of the day we are looking, at the end of the day exploration has been done where for the last four decades, we didn’t understand this company would mine our place, but Namosi is very small and we have heard from the geologists about the deposit underneath our land is the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.  Compared to the deposit on the surface, they are totally different.  The mine on our land will be going nowhere and our land would be like a desert.  I think you’ve been seeing good vegetation of Fiji especially in Namosi, in the rainforest.  If they mine this place there will be a big pool of water with nothing growing.  And we are thinking of our future generations, where will they survive.  Because mining will just go on for 50, 60 years, after the mining what will our trees and deserts survive.  That’s why we do not renew this license.

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Fiji landowners have no say when it comes to mine exploration

MRD clarifies mine licence

Sikeli Qounadovu| The Fiji Times

THE Mineral Resources Department (MRD) says the consent of landowners is not needed for companies to obtain a mining exploration licence.

The MRD, however, states that landowners will need to be notified that exploration will be done to their land.

MRD official Isei Raiyawa made the clarification at a talanoa session with villagers in Namosi on Wednesday saying landowners’ consent will only be needed if a mining licence is applied for.

Mr Raiyawa was reacting to questions raised by Namosi villager Sipiriano Nariva on why when majority of landowners had agreed to the termination of the Special Prospecting License 1420 (SPL 1420) for the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV), Government still extended the licence for another five years.

“The mineral is owned by the State and consent from landowners is not needed when it comes to exploration. What should be done is they need to be notified, which we had done. This work being conducted by the NJV is still in its exploration stage and not mining.” Section 3 (1) of the Mining Act states that all minerals “shall be deemed always to have been, the property of the Crown (State).”

Furthermore section 26 (1) of the Mining Act states that the Director of the MRD has the prerogative to grant a prospecting licence over an area not exceeding 400 hectares.

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Fiji PM calls for urgent meeting regarding NJV explorations

namosi exploration

 Aliki Bia | Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has called on the Mineral Resource Department and the Minister for Lands Mereseini Vuniwaqa to resolve the row over the granting of the special prospecting license to Namosi Joint Venture to explore minerals in the Namosi highlands.

During a talanoa session at Waivaka Village in Namosi yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama heard that majority of the landowners there did not agree to the granting of exploration license to the Namosi Joint Venture.

Bainimarama says the discussions he had with the Minerals Resource Department is that everyone had been consulted and he was not aware that the exploration was destroying the environment especially the rivers.

With this concern, Bainimarama has called for an urgent meeting to resolve the matter.

He has also assured the people of Namosi that government will not allow any exploration to harm their environment.

The Landowners claim that those who were consulted prior to the extension of license are not registered to the village in the Vola Ni Kawa Bula.

The Prime Minister did not indicate when the urgent meeting will take place.

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