COMMUNITIES based around mining sites often face very specific issues.
While communities may invariably have disagreements with mines and mining companies, there is also the propensity for these communities to have internal conflict over issues like land ownership and benefit-sharing.
These issues are the same around the world and indeed in many Pacific Island countries including Fiji.
International NGO Oxfam is among those advising mining companies to deal with these issues through the setting up of community-level grievance committees.
Speaking to journalists on the Asia Pacific Journalism — Mining, Media and Development Fellowship, Oxfam Australia's mining advocacy co-ordinator Serena Lilywhite explained the concept of grievance committees.
"If the mining company and the community together set up a local level grievance mechanism this maybe is a way to solve all those problems before they become too big," Ms Lilywhite said.
"Often when a big project goes head, sometimes there is conflict not just between community and company but conflict within the community because some will think, 'Fantastic, that's a great idea' while others will say, 'No we don't really want a mine here'."