Mining operations sustains communities: Vosarogo

April 18, 2024 2:41 pm

Tuvatu Mine in Nadi

Fiji’s mining sector, crucial for local employment and economic growth has remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic, says Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Filimoni Vosarogo.

With three mining operations currently employing around 2,000 workers and an additional 100 in exploration, he says the industry continues to play a vital role in sustaining communities.

Vosarogo highlights that the recently opened Tuvatu Mine in Nadi employs 420 registered workers alongside eight expatriates with a fortnightly pay estimate of $120,000.

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The Vatukoula Gold Mine employs 1,058 workers including 19 expatriates with a fortnightly pay bill of around $800,000.

Speaking in Parliament, the Mineral Resources Minister highlighted the importance of balancing development with environmental protection.

He reiterates that mining activities are governed by legislation such as the Mining Act and the Environment Management Act, which aim to ensure sustainable practices and environmental rehabilitation.

Vosarogo states that approval for mining development requires endorsements from various authorities, including the Department of Environment and the iTaukei Land Trust Board.

The Ministry, he says collaborates with other government agencies and stakeholders to identify ecological and cultural interests with exclusion zones designated accordingly.

The Minister says companies are required to submit environmental management plans and undergo quarterly compliance monitoring.

Vosarogo adds that under the Mining Act of 1965, a performance deposit is paid to guarantee environmental rehabilitation efforts.