A Solomon Islands mining professional says more government support is needed to unlock the country's significant mining potential.
This comes as reconstruction of the closed Gold Ridge gold mine in Guadalcanal was to begin within the fortnight.
A mining engineer and exploration geologist, Desmond Sese, said the island has other promising deposits.
"The only hindrance we have now is the government not really supporting the mining industry. But in Guadalcanal, I'll say there's huge potential geologically," Desmond Sese said.
Mr Sese is involved with Guadalcanal Exploration, a subsidiary of SolGold, whose application for an exploration permit at Kuma on Guadalcanal was still pending.
He said the Mines and Minerals board approved the permit in 2015, but that the minister was yet to sign off on it.
Political interference, according to Mr Sese, was holding the local mining scene back.