SIG AND ST. BARBARA WARNED BY LANDOWNERS

Landowners have warned the government and St Barbara on decisions. Photo credit: St Barbara.

Landowners have warned the government and St Barbara on decisions. Photo credit: St Barbara.

The Gold Ridge Landowners and Guadalcanal Provincial government has warned both the government and St. Barbara, they will not accept decisions regarding mining on their land without being involved in the consultation process.

A joint statement from the Gold Ridge landowners and Guadalcanal Province says while they share Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo’s disappointment over St Barbara’s absence from its legal and technical obligations on Gold Ridge in the aftermath of the April floods, the Government must not sideline landowners in any dealing regarding Gold Ridge mine.

It also calls on the government to take a more comprehensive approach to secure the mine for the benefit of all stakeholders now and future.

Hon Walton Naezon, Provincial member for Malango Ward and Paramount Chief says any legal action against the mining company must always be in the best interest of the mining sector and landowners.

However, in a separate signed document, the Gold Ridge Community, Landowners Council, Metapono Downstream Association and Kolobisi Tailings Dam Association alleged, the taking over of responsibilities of the Ministry of Mines by the Prime Minister’s Office is a real concern.

The joint group says, it will never allow any investor on their land unless their consent is respectfully sought.

It says, landowners voices have fallen on deaf ears before and have learned through the process to reclaim the lead in negotiating and determining their future, not the government.

The group says, it is ready to discuss issues with St. Barbara and will not be a party to any other unprofessional dealings.

SIBC News understands, government will respond to the statement tomorrow.

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