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Fiji rights commission accuses Australian mining company of violations

[JURIST] The Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC) [advocacy website] has accused Australian mining company Emperor Gold [corporate website] of human rights violations at Fiji's Vatukoula gold mine [Emperor Gold backgrounder]. The FHRC claims that mine workers have been subjected to sub-standard housing, paid disproportionate wages, and exposed to hazardous gases. FHRC Commission Director Dr. Shaista Shameem said that an FHRC investigation concluded that accusations levied by over 400 miners at Vatukoula that the company had violated various provisions of Fiji's constitution [text] had merit.

Just last week, Emperor Gold defended itself [Radio New Zealand report] against accusations in a report commissioned by the government of Papua New Guinea that operations at its Tolukuma mine [Emperor Gold backgrounder] in southeastern New Guinea were adversely affecting the health of nearby residents. The study had accused the mining company of dumping toxic metals into nearby rivers, increasing the risk of cancer, infertility, and other illnesses in the locals. A spokesman for Emperor Gold dismissed the findings and said the study was questionable. Northern Territory News has more.

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