Sawmill licences renewal

Luvunakoro. Picture: FT FILE

Luvunakoro. Picture: FT FILE

THE Ministry of Forests has so far renewed 10 licences for portable sawmills and eight for static sawmills.

Principal forestry officer, timber utilisation research and product development, Manasa Luvunakoro, said the static mills were commercial sawmills used in factories.

Mr Luvunakoro said there was only one sawmill in the North whose licence was not renewed this year.

“Last year, we had stopped renewing the Dalomo Sawmill licence because they were not operating within the conditions of their licence,” he said.

“This year, we had issued them a stop licence.

“We are working with our stakeholders from the Ministry of Labour and the Department of Environment to review the mill.

“In terms of enforcement, we work with these relevant authorities to review the licences of sawmills.”

Mr Luvunakoro said as for the Ministry of Forests, they would only focus on the logging processes.

In October last year, the Environment Department had placed a prohibition and remedial notice on the Dalomo Sawmill in Labasa.

Ministry of Environment permanent secretary Joshua Wycliffe had said then that the notices were issued on August 18. Mr Wycliffe added that upon failure to adhere with the notices, the matter would then be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office.

While the remedial notice required the sawmill to carry out the remedial issues they were given earlier, the prohibition notice banned the company from any further waste discharge into the Labasa River.