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Mine spill claims refuted

Luke Rawalai
Friday, December 01, 2017

OTHER developments being implemented in Naibulu, Dreketi in Macuata may also contribute to the reddening of the river way leading to the sea.

Responding to concerns raised by fishermen in the area regarding the alleged spillage of bauxite waste water into waters in the area affecting their catch, a statement from the Mineral Resources Department director Mineral Development, Raijeli Taga, said mining was not the only activity along the area.

Ms Taga said landowner's representative from Naibulu community Jona Sevutia confirmed to the department they had been fishing at such locations and returned with good catches from the mangrove area.

"They were just out there in the last weekend and they saw no changes and had a good catch from the area highlighted," Ms Taga said.

"Mining is not the only activity along this river, there are other users located within the catchments of Naibulu such as settlements, farming, logging.

"Vigilant monitoring is always done with all conditions been taken into account of the safety and environment measures that are scheduled in the conditions of the mining lease.

"Also, safe keeping of the environment is not the mining company's duty alone, it is everyone's responsibility."

Meanwhile, a group of fishermen in the area represented by Rohit Kumar claimed waters in the Dreketi area turned dark red during rainy weather because of the runoff from the bauxite mine's sedimentation pond.

Mr Kumar said there were no effects last week because there had been no rain, claiming the flooding did not happen but started when mining began in the area.

"This would chase away crabs, fish and other marine life we caught to sell for a living," he said.

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