Validators from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) International will be visiting Solomon Islands next month to check on the country’s progress in terms of complying with the EITI Standards.
Solomon Islands made the decision to comply with the EITI Standards in 2012 through a Cabinet paper.
Director of EITI Solomon Islands, Vincent Obimae told SIBC News, the external validators will be looking at how the country is complying with its mining laws.
“Requirement 5.1 under the EITI Standard which says that a country or Solomon Islands will have to ensure that mining licenses and how we issue mining licenses or prospecting licenses to mining companies must be transparent and that is one of the requirements that they will check for whether we really comply with the Mines and Minerals Act in terms of issuing licenses to the companies that are currently holding prospecting licenses in Solomon Islands.”
Mr Obimae adds the EITI team will also be assessing the ratio of royalty payments made by miners to both the Landowners, Provincial and the National Government.
“One of the requirements they will also be assessing are the ratios within the royalties. I understand that our ordinance also spells out how royalties are to be shared among the landowners, provincial and national government. What this external team will come and check for is whether the ratio or sharing of royalties is being complied with, so that’s basically what they are going to come and assess because our Government has made a commitment in 2012 that Solomon Islands will ensure to comply with these standards.”