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Illegal gravel extraction continues to emerge

February 8, 2021 12:30 pm

Illegal extraction of gravel and sand is once again becoming a problem in some parts of Fiji, particularly in the rural areas.

Lands and Mineral Resources Minister, Jone Usamate, says they’ve received few reports of this illegal extraction and those involved are currently being investigated.

Usamate says the extent of this illegal activity prompted the Ministry to put together relevant procedures to get rid of this old-time act.

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“We also looking at our own laws so we can strengthen the manner in which we can penalize those that are doing this. I think it’s important for people out there in the community who are aware that this is happening, to get in touch with our office. Because there is all kind of things people need to go through in order to extract – there are royalties’ needs to be paid, environment impact assessment needs to be done.”

Usamate adds this issue is posing a risk for our environment and those who are connected to these resources for their daily livelihood.

Permanent Secretary for the Environment Department, Joshua Wycliffe, says they will continue to penalize illegal operators as per the Environment Management Act.

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