The Fijian Government has paid out approximately $230,000 to the Nasomo Landowners Trust in Tavua as fair share of mineral royalties for gold and silver mined or extracted by Vatukoula Gold Mines Limited (VGML) from the Nasomo Trust land.

This afternoon, 123 trustees received a fourth payout of $46,400 since the inception of the Fair Share of Mineral Royalty Act in May 2018. “We are very happy with these payouts because many of us are retirees and there is a large population of over 1000 people in Nasomo,” said trustee, Solomoni Gonevoti.

Each landowner has also contributed towards a community fund to refurbish their hall and kindergarten, and commended the financial empowerment of the royalty payments to improve their village.

“This payout is aligned to Regulation 5 of the Fair Share of Royalties of the Fair Share of Mineral Royalties Act 2018, which states that 80 percent of mineral royalties be given to landowning units that host mining projects and 20 percent of royalties be retained by the State,” said Manager Mines, Raymond Mohammed.

He noted that the Trust would continue to receive gold and silver royalty payouts as long as VGML remains in operation and continues to extract from areas under land belonging to Nasomo.

“Therefore the Vatukoula Gold Mines management needs your full support in securing the future of mining in Vatukoula, VGML, as holders of the Vatukoula mining lease, has and continues to make significant capital investment to modernize mining infrastructure, improve underground working conditions, ensure cost-effective power generation and also improve gold recovery in its process.”

Mr Mohammed also thanked the trustees for their collective agreement to contribute to the community development fund for Nasomo, which is made up of six mataqalis.