16 Aug 2017

Miner's withdrawal from Solomons prompts call for better regulation

12:28 pm on 16 August 2017

The chair of Solomon Islands' Chamber of Commerce has expressed regret over the withdrawal of Japanese mining giant Sumitomo.

The chair of the SICCI, Jay Bartlett

The chair of the SICCI, Jay Bartlett Photo: SI Chamber of Commerce

The miner announced its departure earlier this month cited the slumping nickel price and the loss of a legal dispute over mining rights.

Sumitomo began exploring in Solomons Islands in 2005 but became embroiled in a six-year legal battle with Australia's Axiom Mining.

The battle ended this year with neither company being granted the right to a nickel deposit in Isabel Province.

The chair of the Solomons Chamber of Commerce Jay Bartlett said it's unfortunate that a major international investor has left the country having spent most of its time and resources in the courts.

He said the withdrawal stressed the importance of developing a transparent regulatory framework for all investors and businesses in the Solomons to avoid future withdrawals.