Shine A Light

Shine A Light: Namosi – A Divided Province

Mineral exploration works continue in the highlands of  Namosi after a lapse of five months.
28 Nov 2020 09:26
Shine A Light: Namosi – A Divided Province
Mineral samples that have been packed at the Waisoi camp site. Photo: Ivamere Nataro

 

Government, on August 11, 2020 renewed Namosi Joint Venture’s (NJV) exploration license. The renewed Special Prospecting License (SPL 1420) will expire in 2023. It allows NJV to explore for minerals in the Namosi area.

Permanent Secretary for Lands Raijeli Taga said part of the requirement for the renewal of exploration licence was consultation with landowners. This was done in collaboration with relevant provincial offices.

“Also, mineral exploration licence holders are expected to undertake periodic consultations with landowners during the active term of the licence,” she said.

The exploration of minerals in Namosi has been ongoing for 50 years by different foreign companies.

Despite the change of hands over the years, mining experts agree on one thing – Namosi is a pot of gold.

Could this be Fiji’s answer to the current economic downturn because of COVID-19?

Newcrest Mining, the biggest shareholders in NJV, had previously estimated that the Namosi deposit holds a total resource of 7.9 million tonnes of copper and 7.7 million ounces of gold.

This was widely reported in mining circles.

At the present gold price of USD$1800 (FJ$3740.57) an ounce, the Namosi deposit is significant.

But the plan for an open cut mine has divided the once closely-knit province.

It has shaken the status quo including the heart of iTaukei social structure – the family.

 

Where does the allegiance of Tui Namosi lie?

Namosi chief Ratu Suliano Matanitobua is on the side of the majority. .to read the full story, subscribe to our e-edition. You can also pay through Vodafone’s MPAISA platform.

Feedback: ivamere.nataro@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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