The Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) has clarified amidst mass controversial debate to its land acquisition process to it’s propose mining tenements in West Rennell that it does not take away the rights of landowners.
Rather is there to work together in developing the province for a better and brighter province with good economy that can sustain livelihood; only as a sub lessee to the land.
In a statement the mining company said,continuous raised issues that APID has taken land rights away from the landowners are not right.
“The truth is, the landowners are still landowners; APID’s only right is granted under Solomon Islands laws to develop bauxite and related development; which can only enhance the land benefit to the land parcel belonging to the landowners.
“The process for land rights acquisition is a process carried out independently of APID and was completed with no interference by or any direct participation of APID.
“That process for acquiring land use rights in association with a mining lease is set out clearly in the Mines and Minerals, and that of the of the Lands and Titles Act,” clarified the statement.
It explains that the commissioner of lands was doing the task of acquisition in accordance to the Lands and Titles Act which required for under the Mines and Minerals Act.
“It is the Commissioner of Lands that directly engaged and entered into a lease agreement with the properly appointed trustees of the landowners.
“Thus the Commissioner of Lands is the lessor to APID. APID does not in any way directly lease any land from the landowners or the trustees.
“The Commissioner of Lands subleases the land to APID and therefore APID is the sublessee.
“APID pays the sublease rental to the Commissioner of Lands who in turn pays the landowners.
“APID is not the owner of the land and is merely a sublessee to the land under the lands and titles Act for mining and related activities.”
It stated that apart from the acquisition for mining purposes, there has been indication from the Commissioner of Lands for a boundary survey to demarcate the lands belonging to each individuals and groups which is good.
“This will enable the parcels that are owned by landowners to be identified and documented should the land owners wish to have their lands registered later on.
“More so it is necessarily for the financial benefit payments that the landowner’s will receive from its land.”
The fact is, APID is there to facilitate development, as it allows APID and its partners to work with the particular landowner to develop their land, it stated.
“There are a number of projects that have been or will be introduced for the economic and social development of Rennell Island and its landowners.
“Others to be decided on by themselves base on their interest or perceptions of a better income and return on these investments.
“More so making it easier for negotiations between APID; and its investors and the landowners for projects in the future.”
It added urging the landowners to have an open mind and try to understand the situation and benefits that they are now in.
“Landowners should be mindful as not to listen to one sided negative messages that were bombarded by the opposition of APID.
“It is an opportunity to change your circumstances and ready to face the challenge to develop your land for current and future earnings and benefits.”
By BRADFORD THEONOMI