THE Mineral Resources Department has dispatched a team of officials to investigate claims made by villagers of Naiviqiri District in Bua over depleted marine resources in their qoliqoli (fishing ground) blaming bauxite as a contributing factor.
Department director Malakai Finau confirmed this yesterday saying the team visited the North early this week.
The visit came after this newspaper highlighted those concerns on Monday.
"The team is currently in the North to investigate on the issue," Mr Finau said.
However, he could not comment further on the visit.
District representative Salacieli Tuala earlier claimed that bauxite particles that were washed down to the sea during the loading process was harming marine life.
He had said villagers have had to find new areas to fish and collect mussels for their daily sustenance.
The villagers have also taken their concern to the chiefs of Bua asking for their assistance in resolving the issue.