INVESTOR CALLED ON TO HAVE PROPER PLANS BEFORE MINING

TSI officers at their office in China Town, Honiara. Photo: Courtesy of TSI

TSI officers at their office in China Town, Honiara. Photo: Courtesy of TSI.

Transparency Solomon Islands has called on the Asia Pacific Investment and Development company to have a proper resettlement plan for resource owners in West Rennell, before mining the area for bauxite.

The anti-corruption organization made the call ahead of a Mines and Minerals Board decision on whether to award a mining licence to the company.

The Board is expected to make a decision soon as recent media reports say the company already applied for a mining license to the Ministry.

But Transparency Solomon Islands says the company must have a proper resettlement plan in place before going ahead with its mining operations in Rennell.

Executive Officer Daniel Fenua says the company estimated almost half the landowners, who sit on top of the bauxite deposit, would need to be resettled.

Mr Fenua says the miner must put concrete plans in place for resettlement and properly consult landowners.

Meanwhile, the Director of Mines Don Tolia confirmed to SIBC News today, the Board has received a prospecting licence application from the Asia Pacific Investment and Development company and expects to make a decision soon.

Mr Tolia also says the company has a valid licence that will expire in February next year.

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