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Fiji Time: 10:20 AM on Tuesday 23 September

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Nature-Fiji cites over-estimation

Nanise Loanakadavu
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

AS one of the leading conservation organisations in the country, NatureFiji-MareqetiViti has released its views in its Position Statement on mining at Namosi.

The Position Statement contains a set of context statements that underpin the position setting it in the context of biodiversity conservation, the landowning communities and Fiji's current economic status.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti is of the opinion that advocates of mining commonly over-estimate the national and regional economic benefits and under-estimate the environmental and social costs and impacts of mining.

"This is inevitable with large open cut mining operations and disposal of mine tailings into natural eco-systems," it said.

Furthermore, it said the impacts of open cut mining and tailing disposal would remain an environmental and social management issue for decades beyond the economic life of the mine.

"The loss of eco-system services from impacted areas are likely to be permanent and very costly. The Namosi Joint Venture will be long gone but the people of Fiji will continue to live with the environmental impact," it said.

NatureFiji-MareqetiViti said there were numerous examples of the social and environmental impacts of large-scale mining operations in the Pacific region, particularly in Papua-New Guinea and New Caledonia.


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