NO COMMENTS ALLOWED AFTER FIJI MINE TALKS

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Namosi landowner says he’s barred from discussing talks with PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 31, 2012) – The head of a group of landowners opposed to a potentially huge copper and gold mine in Waisoi near Fiji’s capital Suva has told Radio New Zealand International he’s not allowed to comment on yesterday’s talks with the interim prime minister.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama recently assumed responsibility for negotiations over the Namosi Joint Venture, a partnership between the Australian mining company Newcrest and two Japanese companies.

The Namosi Tikina Landowners Committee’s spokesperson, Sipiriano Nariva, earlier welcomed the regime leader’s involvement, describing him as a man of the people who would listen when told to make the mining company go away.

The Fiji Sun newspaper reports the landowners as saying they are happy with the result of yesterday’s meeting.

Mr. Nariva told the newspaper land damaged in exploratory work is to be repaired, an Environmental Impact Assessment put on hold and new talks held.

Mr. Nariva also told the paper that once rehabilitation of the area is complete the landowners will be consulted on whether they want mining to proceed.

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