29 Apr 2011

Nickel miner in Solomon Islands confident it's dealing with true landowners on Isabel

11:30 am on 29 April 2011

Australian miner, Axiom, says the landowners it's dealt with on Isabel in Solomon Islands are genuine despite the government claiming otherwise.

This week the government put out a media release saying Axiom's licence to prospect for nickel on Isabel was invalid because of the hasty way the previous mining minister, Mark Kemakeza, had pushed it through.

But the miner disputes this, saying the licence is in order, has been triggered and the company's about to start prospecting.

And the CEO, Ryan Mount, says their agreement is with the area's true landowners who began a process to legally establish their title in 1992.

"Finally in 2008 they received final approval and judgement from both the Magistrate's Court and the High Court of the Solomon Islands, recognising them as the true legal landowners of this land. In February of this year they were issued a Perpetual Estate Title under the Lands Act, issued by the Commissioner of Lands and registered with the Registrar of Titles."