2,000 jobs in the mining industry - Vosarogo
Govt almost at the end of decision making process on renewal of prospecting licenses for Namosi

2,000 jobs in the mining industry - Vosarogo

Govt almost at the end of decision making process on renewal of prospecting licenses for Namosi

By Mansi Chand
Thursday 18/04/2024
Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Filimoni Vosarogo Source : Parliament of the Republic of Fiji

2,000 people are currently employed in the mining industry for three different operations in Fiji while the exploration sector employs another 100 people.

Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Filimoni Vosarogo highlighted this when Assistant Minister for Women, Sashi Kiran asked him to update Parliament on the Ministry’s plan to balance economic development with environmental conservation in the context of mining and land use policies.

Vosarogo says mining is often associated with environmental destruction and exploitation however it has been there for many years and it is a critical component for any national development particularly for those countries that have a large deposit of mineral resources because it provides for the necessary raw materials for construction.

When Leader of Opposition, Inia Seruiratu asked what is the progress on Namosi and if the issues are resolved, Vosarogo says they are almost at the end of the decision making process on the renewal of the prospecting licenses however there is one outstanding issue which they will attend to.

The Minister says they will be able to make a decision after that.

While explaining about the mining sector, the Minister says the minerals are fundamental to ingredients that we have on our everyday consumables such as tooth paste, jeans that we wear and technology as these products are extracted from mining activities.

He says direct employment in mining involves jobs such as miners, technicians, engineers and surveyors, these position offer competitive wages and benefits attracting skilled workers and contributing to local economy and its stability. Vosarogo says the ministry always tries to strike a balance between development and emerging issues about environmental protection and economic growth.

Vosarogo says the Ministry of Lands is mandated under the Mining Act of 1965 to safeguard the environment and also the people that live around it, in addition there is also requirements under the Environment Management Act to which they also align to this is to ensure environment stability.

He says mining development approvals can only be permitted if the various authorities give their endorsement.

Vosarogo further says some of the practices adopted to address the balance needed between the development and conserving environment includes collaboration with other line ministries such Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry.

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