13 Jun 2014

Miner warned on resettlement plans in Solomons

4:14 pm on 13 June 2014

A Solomon Islands mining licence could soon be granted to a company proposing to resettle almost half the population of Rennell Island.

Transparency Solomon Islands have warned the company and the Government to adhere to international agreements so landowners can have access to information on the proposed bauxite mine.

Alex Perrottet reports.

Transparency Solomon Islands says the Asia Pacific Investment and Development company applied for a mining lease on West Rennell, and sparked concern by including in their environmental impact statement the estimation that almost half the landowners, who sit on top of the bauxite deposit, would need to be resettled. A spokesperson for the landowners, Pautangata Hakatigisa, says the application documents contain false information. He says the company has failed to provide information, and to follow through on promises to develop infrastructure in the area. Transparency Solomon Islands says the country signed up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in 2012 and the Mines and Minerals Board needs to enforce it so that people on the ground can access vital information about their future. The group says any licence mustn't be issued until there's a comprehensive financial and social plan on any relocation process.