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Landowners want licence revoked

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HOKOLO Landowners Association in Central Guadalcanal has called on the Ministry of Mines and Energy to revoke the mining licence of Phoenix International (SI) Ltd.

In a letter to the Director of Mines, chairman of Hokola Landowner Association Simeon Tonavi said landowners want the company’s Sutakama Mining Lease revoked.

Mr Tonavi said landowners decided to take this cause of action after the company failed to return   to reopen its operation after a temporary cessation.

 He said the company in early October 2010 temporary ceased operation due to technical failure.

“The delay to reopen the operation took three years in which fulfilment of promises by the company to landowners are not done.”

He added that landowners also understood that Phoenix had sold majority of its shares to a company called BRI in order to secure funds for the reopening of the operation.

“Under the sale arrangement 40 percent share of landowners sold will be replaced with $25 million but this was not paid to landowners.”

Mr Tonavi said landowners gave 12 months notice from the date they signed the Variation of Profit Shared Agreement on February 24, 2012 for landowners to withdraw trust and confidence which will lapse end of this month ,thus seek assistance from the responsible government authority.

“The revoke of the licence will help us seek new investors who have financial capability to economically and viability sustain its operation on our land,” the chairman stressed.

By Jennifer Kakai