Chief questions export of soil

A barge at the Naiviqiri shore in Bua that was used to cart bauxite soil to the mother ship. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

LABASA chief Ratu Jone Qomate has questioned the export of soil to China from the bauxite mining area in Bua.

He asked government officials and consultants at the Macuata Natural Resource Management consultation recently the reasons behind the soil export when it could be processed locally.

Officials said soil was now being processed at the mine site in Dreketi and only bauxite was being shipped to China.

They also informed participants at the forum that the Nawailevu mine site in Bua was part of a rehabilitation program now.

Ratu Jone said after being made aware of the impact of bauxite mining, he would never agree to mining activity in his district.

A consultant team co-ordinated by Adi Sivia Qoro also said soil spillage into the Navakasiga seashore in Bua, where boats from China anchored, had affected marine life.

Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere and Tui Mali Ratu Meli Bogiso supported the concerns raised by Ratu Jone.

Ratu Meli reminded resource owners to always consider future generations before agreeing to projects that could affect the environment.

The chiefs agreed not to have any more bauxite or deep sea mining in the province unless the results of a rehabilitation program in the Dreketi mining area proved successful.

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