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Renbel kicks APID out

Cancels provincial business licence


RENBEL Province has cancelled Asia Pacific Investment Development Ltd’s (APID’s) Provincial Business Licence, effectively pulling the plug on any hopes by the company to develop the province’s rich bauxite deposit on West Rennell.

Premier Colin Tesua confirmed yesterday the Renbel Provincial Executive Council took the unilateral action on Wednesday last week based on legal advice it has obtained.

“We told the company that its Provincial Business Licence in Renbel Province has been cancelled. This is the Mining Licence that APID received from the Mines and Minerals Board,” Premier Tesua said.

He said the Provincial Executive was of the view that the process of acquiring a mining licence was not satisfied.

“We initially gave APID a 14-day, please explain notice, but their explanation was unsatisfactory so in the interest of fairness we gave another notice of seven days, to which the company has never responded,” he said.

“Given that APID has not responded when the notice lapsed on Monday last week, we concluded that the only natural thing to do is to cancel the Provincial Business Licence,” he said.

Asked whether the cancellation also affected APID’s logging operations in West Rennell, the Premier said the cancellation has nothing to do with logging operations.

“APID has no felling licence or an export licence for the logs it illegally felled on West Rennell.

“We simply cannot understand the rationale for the recent ruling by the High Court to allow logs illegally felled to be exported,” Premier Tesua said.

The action by the Renbel Provincial Government meant that by law, APID is barred from carrying out any business transactions or operations in Renbel Province.

It also meant that its workers are not allowed to set foot on West Rennell.

APID, a logging company masquerading as a mining company, was granted a three-year prospecting licence by the Mines and Minerals Board on 05th December 2008 in controversial circumstances.

At the time, PL 04/08 was over a 560km2 area in West Rennell. But record shows PL 04/08 had expired on 04th December 2011.

APID was incorporated on 15 July 2008, according to Company Haus records, which also show the directors of the company as Ray Chu and Rachel Fasifera. Ray is director 1 and Rachel as Director 2.

The company has since taken out a 10-year caveat over the West Rennell concession area, doubling the size of the initial area it had applied for.

APID’s caveat denied a rival suitor, PT Mega Bintang Borneo Ltd, which has a mining licence for the area.

In a bizarre twist, the High Court recently ordered the cancellation of PT Mega Bintang Borneo Ltd’s mining licence.

Instead, it ordered that APID’s mining licence be reinstated.

By ALFRED SASAKO