• John Paxton
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The island is situated 0° 32’ S. lat. and 166° 55’ E. long. Area, 5,263 acres (2,130 hectares). It is an oval-shaped upheaval coral island of approximately 12 miles in circumference, surrounded by a reef which is exposed at low tide. There is no anchorage. On the seaward side the reef dips abruptly into the deep waters of the Pacific at an angle of 45°. On the landward side of the reef there is a sandy beach interspersed with coral pinnacles. From the sandy beach the ground rises gradually, forming a fertile section ranging in width from 150 to 300 yd and completely encircling the island. On the inner side of the fertile section there is a coral cliff which rises to a height of 200 ft. Above the cliff there is an extensive plateau bearing phosphate of a high grade, the mining rights of which were vested in the British Phosphate Commissioners until 1 July 1970, subject to the rights of the Nauruan landowners. In July 1970 the Nauru Phosphate Corporation assumed control and management of the enterprise. It is chiefly on the fertile section of land between the sandy beach and the plateau that the Nauruans have established themselves. With the exception of a small fringe round a shallow lagoon, about 1 mile inland, the plateau, which contains the phosphate deposits, has few food-bearing trees and is not settled by the Nauruans.


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Books of Reference

  1. Report to the General Assembly of the United Nations on the Administration of the Territory of Nauru. 1949 to dateGoogle Scholar
  2. Text of Trusteeship Agreement. (Cmd. 7290: Treaty Series No. 89, 1947)Google Scholar
  3. Territory of NauruAnnual Report. Dept. of Territories. Canberra, 1920–40 and from 1947–48Google Scholar
  4. Packett, C. N., Guide to the Republic of Nauru. Bradford, 1970Google Scholar
  5. Pittman, G. A., Nauru, the Phosphate Island. London, 1959Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Paxton

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