Vatukoula Gold Mine Issue Remains Unresolved

Mr Maharaj said these individuals wanted a substantial amount of $2 million per individual.
30 Aug 2022 12:18
Vatukoula Gold Mine Issue Remains Unresolved
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu outside parliament. Photo: Viliame Tawanakoro

The issue of Government to compensate Vatukoula Gold Mine workers remains unresolved. Public Accounts Committee chairperson Alvick Maharaj said there were individuals who felt the compensation proposed by Government was not enough.

Mr Maharaj said these individuals wanted a substantial amount of $2 million per individual. While tabling the report on the Review of the Office of the Prime Minister and Department of Immigration Annual Report of 2019 to 2020 in Parliament yesterday, he said this issue was over three decades old.

“It was identified that the Vatukoula Gold Mine strike dispute has been a longstanding issue, which is over three decades old, but there were numerous attempts along the way to resolve the issue,” he said.

“A legal opinion on the cause of the issue has been sought from the Office of the Solicitor General. It was noted that the Gold Mine Company did not breach the contract agreement between them and the individuals who had been affected.”

“The Government then stepped in to try bring about an amicable solution and there is even an offer for an exgratia payment, to the affected person,” he said.

These sort of payments, he said, are considered as rewards given and are not necessarily something that one was obliged to pay, but does so as a way of recognition and appreciation of the work done.

“There were individuals who felt that this was not enough and thus wanted the payment to be compensation for the 30 years of dispute and wanted a substantial amount of money for this; $2 million to be exact.”

“This motion by these individuals is contrary to the legal opinion and it should be kept in mind that the Government and the Gold Mining Company has no obligations to offer compensation,” he said.



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