Caretaker PM wants mining lease investigated
Quoting the Solomon Star newspaper – 10 March 2019
“CARETAKER Prime Minister Rick Hou has instructed the Director of Mines to undertake a full review of the processes involved in the assessment and award of the Mining Lease to APID.
“Hou’s announcement came in the wake of the oil spill disaster on Rennell after a bulk carrier miner’s Bintan chartered to load its bauxites ran aground on the reefs at Kangava Bay on February 5.
“I am concerned that adequate checks and balances may not have been complied with in the process of granting the mining lease to the primary company – APID in January 2014,” Hou said.
“The Solomon Star also understands that APID is also holder of the Development Consent that underpinned the granting of the licence by the Minerals and Mining Board.
“I am informed that the mining lease may have been granted to APID without proper procedures being followed, and that the areas approved far exceed that provided under the Act.
“This concern is validated by the fact that APID contracted Bintan Mining Solomon Islands to conduct the mining operations in Rennell,” he added.
“Hou told the media that he was also informed of other irregularities in relation to consultation and vetting requirements.
“He further stated that a further concern is that APID does not have any capability and/or expertise in mining – raising the question why the development consent and the mining lease was granted to it.”
Copyright @ 2019, Solomon Star News.