Wale Demands Mining Licence Suspension

Wing Leader for Solomon Islands Democratic Party, Matthew Wale.

THE Wing Leader for Solomon Islands Democratic Party is again calling on the Caretaker Prime Minister to take charge of the environmental disaster that is continuing on Rennell Island as a result of the wrecking of the MV Solomon Trader and deal with Bintang Mining SI Ltd.

Mr. Wale reiterates that politics has to be put aside on this matter as it has now become an international concern and embarrasement for the Government.

Mr. Wale says, “Part VI of the Mines and Minerals Regulations 1996 imposes duties on the Director of Mines to ensure that mining licence holders must conduct their mining operations according to best practice and the law.

“Clearly loading a large ship in cyclonic weather in a rugged coastline is not best practice by any standard and may even be considered a breach of maritime regulations and disaster related laws.”

“These are serious possibilities and so the Caretaker Prime Minister cannot let his caretaker Mines Minister and his staff continue avoiding taking the most appropriate causes of action,” “The fault as stated in his offices’ own media release made on 27/02/19 states that Bintang and it’s partners are liable for the disaster says Mr.Wale.

Mr. Wale adds that if the Government granted the licence to Bintang according to the law, there should be a security bond paid to the Director Mines as required under section 49 of the Mines and Minerals Act of 1990.

He says what has happened is a clear breach of the conditions of operation and the law hence the Caretaker Prime Minister should forfeit this money now as permitted under this section and apply the bond to assist the people of Rennell Island in these trying times.

Such an action is necessary to avert leaving it to tax payers to meet the cleaning up costs says Mr. Wale.

He further says if there is no such bond paid then again this is another possible breach of the law which also warrants the suspension of Bintang’s mining license.