SUNBIZ

Full Report On Mt Kasi Redress This Week: Jone Usamate

A full report on findings of a redress related to the tender on Mt Kasi will be tabled with the line minister’s office this week. Minister for Mineral Resources Jone
05 Apr 2021 10:40
Full Report On Mt Kasi Redress This Week: Jone Usamate
Jone Usamate - Minister for Infrastructure, Meteorological Services, Lands and Mineral Resources. Source: File

A full report on findings of a redress related to the tender on Mt Kasi will be tabled with the line minister’s office this week.

Minister for Mineral Resources Jone Usamate said he met with his staff members on Friday for a briefing on the matter.

SunBiz earlier reported the international tender was awarded to Vatukoula Gold Mines last year.

But there had been an appeal against this.

In July 2020, the Government issued an international invitation for interested parties to submit expressions of interest for the proposal for exploration and possible development of the Mt Kasi mineral prospect.

On August 14, 2020, the tender closed.

In February 2021, Mr Usamate told SunBiz a landowning unit had aired concern over the initial tender award to Vatukoula Gold Mines.

His permanent secretary, Raijeli Taga said at the time: “The Mt Kasi Tender Assessment Committee, appointed by the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, is finalising the assessment of the award of the tender given that an appeal was lodged by an unsuccessful bidder subsequent to the committee’s recommendation for the initial award of the tender.”

Mt Kasi was one of seven mineral exploration licences that were to be issued by the Mineral Resources Department.

The other licences related to Sabeto, Rakiraki, Vuda and Nakauvadra prospects.

 

Ding Jin Mining Ltd
In another development, the objection period for a prospective mining license for a site in Rakiraki, has ended.

Ding Jing Mining Pte Ltd had applied for the special prospective license for Rakiraki, which met with objections from some landowners.

The objection had followed the ministry’s decision to carry out an awareness campaign in the West, to inform landowners of the difference between mineral exploration and mining.

Mr Usamate said Parliament had passed a Bill which enabled public consultation and awareness on mining and mineral exploration.

He said he would have more details of the calendar of consultations and awareness tomorrow.

Ding Jin Mining director, John Nong, said as a result of the objection, the company would work closer with the Mineral Resources Department to clear the air over landowner concerns.

Mr Nong said 15 locals were expected to be employed by the company when the initial prospecting work begins.

“We won’t wait for the borders to open with China,” he said.

“We will go ahead with the work.”

The area demarcated for prospective mining was between Navolau and Rakiraki.

Ding Jin Development Pte Ltd, a registered land development business, is a branch of Ding Jin’s investments in Fiji.

Ding Jing Development continues with the construction of a high rise at Wailoaloa, Nadi, which will be used by the company, Mr Nong said.

A three–storey shopping complex in Nausori is another project of Ding Jin Development Pte Ltd.

 

Feeedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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