The people of Nawailevu in Bua will have a reason to smile come tomorrow as they will be receiving lease money amounting to about $986,930.
Permanent Secretary for Lands, Filimone Kau said the handover was part of the rural development projects the Ministry was engaged in.
“Through the newly established Land Use Unit unutilized land are deposited into the Land Bank and made available for productive use that will benefit landowners and investors,” he said.
Land Minister, Netani Sukanaivalu, and other senior officials will travel to Bau tomorrow to officially handover the Nawailevu Bauxite Mining to Arum Explorations Ltd.
Such breakthrough signifies the relationship bonded during negotiation period between Government, the investor and land owners.
“This is critical in ensuring investor confidence for the nation and creating a transparent and friendly environment for all in facilitating investment,” Kau added.
Tomorrow’s handover details a surface lease where by Arum Explorations can start preliminary work like building a camp site, access, bridges and infrastructure.
According to Kau, mining can only begin in a month’s time when a mining lease is issued.
Also, not only will the landowners benefit through a down payment but they will be given first preference on unskilled and unskilled employment provided they meet the criteria required.
Kau also readdressed that the ministry continues to encourage land owners to engage with government on the possibility of having their lands leased for a source of revenue.
The handover tomorrow will see the landowning units: Mataqali Naicobo, Mataqali Noro, Mataqali Nalutu, Vanua Navakasiga and Vanua Lekutu receive they payout.
By Ravai Vafo’ou