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BREAKING NEWS

West Rennell Landowners Claimed, NESI a Replica of Bintang Mining; Denounces Deal to Mine their Island

West Rennel Mining site|Photo by Charley Piringi

Key points:
-West Rennelle land owners denounces the recent deal between the National government and the Nickel Exploration SI (NESI) Limited to mine the West Rennell
-Ministry of Mines confirms it’s the same directors with Bintang Mining Solomon Islands Ltd that incorporated into the new mining firm

The West Rennell Land and Resources Owners Association in its strongest terms denounces the recent deal between the National government and the Nickel Exploration SI (NESI) Limited which lodged its application to mine the West Rennell, last week.

One of the Association Members, Mr. Erick Tema said the Association finds out that NESI Ltd is none other than Bintang Mining which changes its name.

“In strongest terms, we totally and outrightly rejected any forms of mining operation in our land.

It is the same people with Bintang Mining Solomon Islands that changed and registered its name again as NESI. The land is ours; we have reclaimed it from Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) and will never let it again to foreigners,” Mr. Tema said.

He reiterated, landowners in West Rennell have never benefited from the previous mining operation and again, the government is dealing with the same firm to operate in the area.

“Who are you to come and peg parcels of our land for mining?” Mr. Tema questioned. They are the same people who robbed us and they are coming back again,” He added.

Meanwhile, Director of the Ministry of Mines Dr. Nicholas Biliki confirms, it’s the same directors with Bintang Mining Solomon Islands Ltd that incorporated into the new mining firm.

Loading of bauxite ore in West Rennel

“The newly incorporated mining firm is the Nickel Exploration Solomon Islands Ltd. They actually incorporated it here last year. They are the directors from Bintang Mining Solomon Islands Ltd.”

He also confirmed, APID which used to hold the West Rennell Mining lease has been canceled this year.

“We have received their application, and the Mines and Mineral Board will meet soon to look into the new application and decide on it.
Depending on a due diligence process undertaken now, the application will be deliberated on maybe in the third quarter board meeting which is three months away,” Mr Biliki said.
Another West Rennell Elder who wishes to remain anonymous due to current occupation said for the government to agree in principle with the mining firm is uncalled for, and must not happen.

We call on the government to be serious in addressing mining issues in the country. We should learn from the previous operation by the same firm that has now changed its name. We have been robbed by the same people in the past four years, and now trying to come up with a different name again to destroy our environment again.”

Our people have no place for gardening now, and the government is again trying to sneak in another firm.

Sad that the government is so brainwashed by money and forgets about its citizens. Sad!”

SIBC News is aware, the Solomon Islands Registry of Titles deregistered APID from West the Rennell land on 20th October last year after it was registered in 2013.SIBC News is yet to get comments from APID and the Bintang Mining company as phone calls were left unanswered.

by Charley Piringi

 

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