Solomons to clean up Ministry of Mines

3:13 pm on 9 June 2015

Landowning groups in Solomon Islands Rennell and Bellona province are hoping the government keeps its promise to clean out corrupt officials from the Ministry of Mines.

The push comes after a recent High Court order over-ruled a government permit for the export of 56,000 tonnes of bauxite stockpiled on Rennell illegally by the Indonesian miner Bintang Borneo.

A Rennell and Bellona Constituency Development Officer, William Sau Kaitu'u, says the Minister of Mines, Samson Maneka, made the promise to overhaul the ministry at a special meeting held last week at the Prime Minister's Office.

"Especially in the mining division he said he will sack the people who are not doing their jobs honestly in the mines ministry. And then he said he will communicate with the Police Commissioner to open investigations into the two companies operating on Rennell."

Mr Kaitu'u says the directive is an important one because he believes the majority of Rennell landowners do not fully understand the mining agreements they sign onto or the environmental impacts of bauxite mining.