Allegations of meddling in the Mines and Minerals Board decision against the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification Bradley Tovosia were baseless and lacked substance.
Landowners of Central and South Guadalcanal accused Tovosia in an article in the Island Sun newspaper on September 9 of interference into the MMB decision to reject the Solomon Islands Resources Development (SIRD) LTD’s application for a prospecting license earlier this year.
The Director of Mines, however, dismissed those allegations describing them as grossly misleading and entirely baseless since the Minister does not have any power to reject or approve applications.
According to the Director of Mines, there was no letter of Intent (LOI) issued to Solomon Islands Resources Development Ltd (SIRD) by the Minister after SIRD’s Prospecting License application was rejected by the Mines and Minerals Board in its 1st quarter board meeting earlier this year.
The Director further clarified that the Minister only has the power to sign off resolutions passed by the Mines and Minerals Board, and not to accept or prioritize applications, according to the Mines and Minerals Act.
Further to the allegations in the Island Sun newspaper, there is no commercial partnership connection between Win Win Investment Solomon Ltd and SIRD as stipulated in the news story.
“So the landowners must be rest assured that nothing illegal has happened to their land in terms of granting mining permits. They will all be consulted through the normal legal procedures should there be an application over their customary land,” the Director said.
For the information of the general populace, the current Mines and Minerals Board is upscaling its due diligence performances and scrutiny to ensure that the right investors with the required expertise, work experience and those that are financially competent to be permitted to invest in the Mining Industry of the country.
This is ensured solely because of the Government’s consciousness in the no-renewable nature of the commodity of interest in the mineral industry.