Nasomo landowners receive mining royalty pay out
Government has so far paid out $6.5 million in mineral royalty fair share to the Nasomo Landowners Trust in Vatukoula.
Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Jone Usmate, while handing out payments to 123 members of the trust, said Government was doing its best to rebuild and restore Fiji, amidst the global pandemic crisis.
“The government has moved swiftly with great wisdom in encountering the loss in economy, loss of employment and its’ ripple effects by redirecting new ways of norms that are reflected in the Government Budget of 2020 – 2021,” Mr Usamate said.
The payout is for gold and silver mined from beneath Nasomo land for the period March 2020 to May 2020, with a total of approximately $61,650 to be equitably distributed. The payout is in accordance with Section 5 of the Fair Share of Mineral Royalties Act 2018, which stipulates that 80 per cent of mineral royalties be given to landowning units or customary fishing rights holders, with 20 per cent retained by the State.
Of the money paid out to members of the trust, $522,000 was paid to the trust to date, with $1.6 million retained by the State.
“During my visit to the mine in April this year, I was briefed that the mine had made significant capital investments to modernize the mine infrastructure, improve underground working conditions, ensure cost-effective power generation and improve its gold recovery or milling process,” Mr Usamate said.
“Given the capital-intensive and volatile nature of mining, the support of relevant stakeholders including landowners is important in the success of such projects.” Mr Usamate said he had visited mining projects in the West and the North, including the exploration projects.
“During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the mining sector has shown its resilience in contributing to Fiji’s economic recovery,” he said.
Meanwhile, Raijiel Drudre, 50, and Sereana Vuso, 59, members of the trust, thanked Government for their continued support.
Mrs Vuso said money received would be shared equally by her and her three siblings and their families.
Aporosa Labavakatini, 73, who has been collecting his royalty since 2018, said Government had assisted the trust members with the payout. com.fj
Women waiting for their royalty payout in Vatukoula.