CLAIMS OF ILLEGAL MINING ON RENBEL DENIED BY AUTHORITY

Rennell Island. Photo credit: Radio Australia online.

Rennell Island. Photo credit: Radio Australia online.

The Permanent Secretary for Mines and Energy Jeffrey Kauha has denied claims an Asian Mining Prospecting company is conducting mining activities illegally in West Rennell, Renbel province.

This came after resource owners of West Rennell question the legitimacy of Asia Pacific Investment and Development Limited, APID’s, prospecting activities in the area.

But Mr Kauha says the company has a valid licence to conduct prospecting activities in West Rennell.

He told SIBC News in an interview today, the Ministry has extended the company’s prospecting licence until 25 February 2015.

“With the prospecting licence, this means the company will need to do more exploration work, they will need to be at the site and they need to look at grilling areas they believe have the bauxite or that mineral. So I think to say that they are doing that work illegally is not correct, that is incorrect.”

Mr Kauha adds, the Ministry is serious about the potential of mineral resources of the country and warns people not to misinterpret stories to meet their own agendas.

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