Prospecting license for mining in Ngella under dispute

Goldridge mine. Photo: Pacific Enviro Watch

The process to attain a prospecting license for mining in Ngella, Central Islands Province has been disputed.

Last month the Solfish Company, Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ngella House of Chiefs and Ngella Tribal Leaders signed a Surface Access Agreement to conduct a mining prospecting at Haroro Community.

But head of Ngella’s Kakau Taghasagina Clan, Catherine Pule has submitted an appeal against the agreement to the Central Provincial Government, Ngella House of Chiefs, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Lands and Housing and Ministry of Home Affairs last week.

Mrs Pule said the initial process was not applicable because the Ngella House of Chiefs was nullified by its Secretary.

”This secretary for the Ngella House of Chiefs did not put things in order so we could have proper chief and are set up properly before anything like this came up”, she said.

”At the moment if anything goes wrong we do not know where to start because all the house of chiefs in Ngella have been nullified. They are not working.”

Meanwhile, the Ngella Forum has agreed to draft a second supporting letter of dispute in their meeting last Saturday at the Mendana Hotel.

Chair Charles Ghauba told SIBC News over the weekend, the group will also submit a supporting letter to Mrs Pule’s submission by this week.

By: Charlie Salini

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