$46,400 payout to villagers

Minister for Land and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar. Picture: FT FILE

A SECOND royalty payment of $46,400 was made to the Nasomo Landowners Trust in Tavua as fair share of mineral royalties for gold and silver mined or extracted by Vatukoula Gold Mines Ltd.

The payout was made by the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources this week.

Nasomo Village headman Viliame Rokoraiba said the villagers had been putting their royalties to good use.

“This is the fourth payment that we have received from Government and VGML,” he said.

“So far we have been able to set up an education trust that each recipient gives a certain amount to.

“The money goes towards the upgrading of our kindergarten.”

He said the villagers also planned to set up a fund for village projects.

According to the Lands and Mineral Resources Ministry, a total of 123 trustees were given a portion of the $46,400, making the total payout to the trust so far $230,000.

Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Ashneel Sudhakar said royalty payments would be made to the landowners every three months.

“We have more royalty payments that will be distributed to the Nasomo landowners that are going to be made later in the year,” he said.

“This is a good concept for landowning units who have resources and work with a company that is able to use their resources in a sustainable manner and in turn they reward the landowners.”

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