Solomon Landowners ignorance exploited by miners

4:37 pm on 8 June 2015

A constituency development officer in Solomon Islands' Rennell and Bellona province says the ignorance of local landowners is being exploited by mining companies.

Willie Sau Kaitu'u has been trying to conduct awareness among communities in West Rennell where two mining companies Bintang Borneo and Asia Pacific Investment Limited, APID, are currently fighting for control of bauxite deposits on the tiny island.

Mr Kaitu'u says both companies and the Solomons government are exploiting the island's landowning communities.

"All the landowners they do not have any idea about what the mining companies do. When I check with them they have no idea at all. Even the Ministry of Mines they do not go out to the people and explain properly what the mining actually did."

Mr Kaitu'u says community elders are also uninformed about the long term environmental impacts of the mining operations.

Bauxite at a factory in Guinea.

Photo: AFP