FIJI REVAMPS QUARRY STANDARDS [13 October 2016]
Licensing for extraction of river or hard rock has come under increased scrutiny in Fiji in the recent past, due to the attendant environmental risks. This prompted the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for license issuance for river and hard rock quarrying activities. A workshop to review, validate, adopt and disseminate the new SOPs was held on 13 October in Suva. Mr. Malakai Finau - Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources officially opened the workshop, in which 24 officials from the Ministry's various departments were in attendance.
Some of the key topics of discussion that informed the SOPs included: current licensing procedures; river bank boundary extraction and demarcation; river bed extraction and river course way changes; as well as extraction licenses and Health Impact Assessment (HIA) studies on river extraction. Subsequently, a sensitization and consultation session on the newly developed and adopted Standard Operating Procedures took place in the Northern Province for 11 quarry operators.