University of Wollongong and MMERE Ink Agreement for Geoscience Advancement

University of Wollongong and MMERE Ink Agreement for Geoscience Advancement


The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification on 4th March signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Wollongong University in Australia.

MMERE Geological Survey Director Clinton Roga said the MOU aims to bolster geoscience research and cooperative initiatives in the Solomon Islands.

Prof. Sybille Schwab, representing the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Strategy) Tony Travalione, and Dr. Christopher Vehe, representing MMERE formalized the collaboration.

The event was witnessed by esteemed faculty members from the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences: Prof. Guang Shi, current Head of School, Prof. Colin Murray-Wallace, the incoming Head, Prof Allan Chivas, A/Prof. Solomon Buckman, and Prof. Allen Nutman.

The ceremony was also attended by Mr Roga, showcasing the commitment of both institutions to a unified effort toward enhancing geoscientific research and education.

A major initiative of this partnership is to conduct detailed geological mapping across the Solomon Islands and to establish a state-of-the-art Geoscience laboratory. This endeavor is aimed not just at exploring mineral resources but also at understanding the geological landscape to better manage and mitigate geological hazards.

The Ministry is leading the charge in geological surveys and research, emphasizing the scientific investigation of our natural geological wealth rather than mineral extraction. It seeks to clarify to resource owners that its focus differs from that of mining companies, with a commitment to sustainable exploration and utilization of the Solomon Islands’ geological resources.

The agreement represents a significant advancement in geoscience research, introducing an era of international collaboration that promises to elevate both educational and practical applications of geoscience in the Solomon Islands, for the well-being of its land and people.

Mr Roga said the MOU came about following a visit by Prof Chivas from the university last year.

“Prof Chiva last year visited the country to follow up on some of his previous work with the ministry in Koloula and Kuma in Guadalcanal province. He had studied gold mineralization and geology in these areas, he has a good understanding of geology in Guadalcanal, upon his visit the opportunity for collaboration came about as the ministry shared some of its needs which led to the drafting of the MOU,” Mr Roga said.


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