Akosita Talei | FBC News | 12 March 2018
The Nawailevu bauxite mine in Bua has ceased operations and is undergoing progressive rehabilitation program on the site.
This has been confirmed by Minister for Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya adding this is one of the conditions listed in the mining lease prior to the closure of a mine.
Koya says the mining site is to undergo progressive rehabilitation with a reforestation program of 160,000 pine seedlings.
” Of the 160,000 pine seedlings there are now 90,000 standing pine plants. The rehabilitation program is on-going until the site is fully rehabilitated to be handed back to the landowning units of Nawailevu, Bua for the benefit of the landowners.”
He says the mining company Xinfa Aurum Exploration is exploring other species to plant in the area to benefit the resource owners.
“It’s this measure which is put in place by the Ministry to ensure that the land is returned with added value for the benefit of the landowners. Madam Speaker, unlike previous governments, the benefits will accrue to the future generations and the generation now.”
Bauxite ore is mined from 408 hectares of prospective zones in Nawailevu and Naibulu in Macuata earning the government $1.4m in revenue on royalty.
$1.7m revenue was paid to the landowning units in these two areas while $781,800 was paid to the government.
The two sites have produced more than a million tonnes of bauxite ore since its commencement in 2011.