THE physical relocation of Vatukoula gold miners made redundant in 2006 has been postponed to the end of the year, says Lands and Mineral Resources permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the relocation would begin this month but according to Mr Boseiwaqa assessments on the affected families were yet to be completed.
"The trust (Fund) is currently assessing the forms that were filled by the beneficiaries during the Agriculture Show in Lautoka and during the Hibiscus and the forms detail what each beneficiary intends to do with the social assistance," he said.
"The trust is looking at disbursing funds by the end of the year. Some of the beneficiaries are already in their villages but those who are currently in the mining lease will need to be relocated. The Trust will need to take into account places where these beneficiaries want to move to.
"Some may prefer to move to their villages so all issues like housing, education will need to be taken into account before physical removal of people takes place."
Mr Boseiwaqa said under the Vatukoula Deed, Vatukoula Gold Mine Ltd would be providing funding of $6million to the Trust Fund over a five-year period which would come in installments.
"The trust right now has approximately $2.4m in its bank account, so we will be working on what is available," he said.
"The trust in responding to the needs of the beneficiaries provided education assistance to families who have children that are attending primary and secondary schools.
"This was agreed by all members and was implemented at the beginning of this year with conditions attached to it.