A mining road on Rennell Island. Photo credit: SIBC.

A mining road on Rennell Island. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Democratic Coalition for Change Cabinet has approved the export of bauxite stockpiled by an Indonesian mining company, PT Mega Bintang Borneo, from the West Rennell mine.

Cabinet made the decision last week, saying it was based on advice from the Attorney General’s Chambers.

The Ministry of Mines had very recently revoked the mining company’s prospecting license for illegally stockpiling the mineral.

But a press statement from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet today says Cabinet has approved a limited shipment of the stockpiled bauxite.

The statement says Cabinet has considered the pros and cons surrounding the consignment and believes it will be in the best interest of the stakeholders, including the West Rennell landowners and the nation to export the bauxite because each of these stakeholders will benefit from the exports.

The statement also states a 20 percent Export Duty will be imposed on the shipment, and the permit shall only apply for the stockpile.

PT Mega Bintang Borneo Company has been stockpiling bauxite from the West Rennell mine pit since last year.

The Ministry of Finance and Treasury has been advised to release the shipment.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Coalition for Change Government has given leeway for the Indonesian mining company to justify why its prospecting license should not be cancelled.

PT Mega Bintang Borneo has 14 days to respond to a cancellation letter issued to the company on May 7th, this year.

The former Minister for Mines, Samson Maneka had cancelled the company’s mining lease and prospecting licence following an advice by the Mines and Minerals Board.

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