Fiji: Australian miner defends proposed sand extraction project as petition to stop issue of licence raises local support
Author: Fonua Talei, Fiji Sun, Published on: 15 February 2020
"Sand Mining Plan At Sigatoka Rive Row Erupts", 12 February 2020
An Australian mining company has strongly defended its position against a petition to stop the issue of licence to mine sand at the Sigatoka River.
The petition...claims residents of riverbank communities may be:
- forced to leave their homes because the mining would negatively affect their livelihood.
- deprived of their ancestral fishing ground as a result of destruction to their environment.
But Garry Lowder, chairman of Dome Gold Mines Limited, said: “If our project proceeds at Sigatoka it will have substantial environmental benefits, including significant mitigation of the chronic flooding that occurs regularly in the Sigatoka River, and revitalisation of the river, which is currently choked with sand.
“The mine, if it proceeds, would very much enhance local employment opportunities and provide a substantial boost to economic activity across the Sigatoka area”
Mr Lowder said the company operated in Fiji on a Special Prospecting Licence 1451 issued by the Fijian Government with strict terms and conditions.
He also said they had fully complied with the terms of the licence and exercise industry best practices in all of their activities.
He said: “We are acutely aware of the need to protect the environment and engage with the local community and we routinely exceed our statutory obligations on both of those matters.”
Related companies: Dome Gold Mines