30 Mar 2010

Solomons' official promises land owners won't lose out in Isabel mining plan

7:21 pm on 30 March 2010

The Permanent Secretary for Mines in Solomon Islands says landowners should come to his ministry if they feel they haven't been consulted about the government's decision to seek an international investor for nickel mining in Isabel Province.

The government announced last week that it would soon put out a tender to mine nickel in the province.

But the Bogotu Landowners Association, which represents tribes with a claim in the area, says it hasn't been told about the decision, and wants the government to choose an international investor that would allow it to be involved in the venture.

The Permanent Secretary Luma Darcy says the ministry is consulting with people now to ensure that land issues are resolved before the tender is issued.

"We need to have involvement of everybody, so that they own it, they look after it, they have a pride in it. So its both resource owners, investors, government, everyone should have a win-win situation."

Luma Darcy says the days are gone when local communities lose out from such projects.