Banaba Islanders Want To Benefit From Aggregate Mining

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Landowner: Banaba still owed compensation for phosphate mining

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 2, 2013) – A landowner from Banaba in Kiribati says the island’s large stocks of aggregate are a valuable resource given the threat of sea level rise in the region.

Raobeia Ken Sigrah says Banabans want to benefit from the estimated 40-million tonnes of aggregate on their island and not to get ripped off as they were by the countries that mined phosphate on the island.

He says his people still believe they are owed significant compensation for the depletion of the island’s phosphate and the consequent hardships Banabans have endured.

Mr Sigrah says climate change means that low-lying countries like Kiribati are in need of materials to build up sea-walls, roads and other infrastructure.

"These rocks could be used for building materials. And we have 40 million tonnes of these rocks on our island. But again, that belongs to the Banaban landowners and this time we won’t allow other companies to come in and rip it off our people, unless we get a fair deal."

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