Mining madness

Namosi gold and copper mine exploration with a flawed plan

THE same mine plan and the flaws in it that prompted the halt of mining in early 2012 is currently being used for copper and gold exploration by the Namosi Joint Venture (NJV), according to the Tikina Namosi Land Committee (TNLC). In 2012, Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama ordered a stop on the exploration work on the proposed billion-dollar copper and gold mine high up in the Namosi-Naitasiri mountains because of the series of concerns raised by landowners.

Joe Rauto, chairman for the committee, told this magazine that most matters that led to the shelving of exploration works in 2012 has not properly been addressed to date, even though NJV’s Special Prospecting Licence 1420 has been extended to five years – expiring in 2020. The NJV is currently conducting studies and exploration to determine if a copper mine with gold by products can be developed at Waisoi – titled as Waisoi Project.

The TNLC is a committee formed by the Land Owning Unit (LOU) / Mataqali to be the voice of landowners at large. Rauto said back in 2011, NJV had admitted to flaws in the mine plan. “The third pit was acknowledged by NJV when they admitted of the mine flaw at Pacific Harbour in 2011,” he said. “It is even called Waivaka west pit but not shown in the mine plan due to clear thinking from landowners and possible relocation and massive environmental damages.”

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