PT Mega Bintang Borneo Ltd must be allowed to export bauxite stockpile: Attorney General’s Chambers
PT Mega Bintang Borneo Ltd must be allowed to export the stockpile of bauxite it has extracted on Rennell, according to the Attorney General’s Chambers.
The advice was contained in a letter addressed to Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, after the company’s mining licence was cancelled.
“I am instructed that Cabinet has directed the Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification to issue … a permit to PT Mega Bintang Borneo Ltd (“the Company” to allow the Company to export their stockpile currently stored at Rennell,” the letter signed by the AG’s Chambers’ Principal Crown Counsel, John Muria (Jnr), said.
He said, the AG’s Chambers was advised that the Company has accepted the advice that its licence has been cancelled. The letter said Bintang “wishes to export the stockpile of bauxite currently extracted from their mining lease.”
“Therefore in applying section 71(4) of the Mines Act, the Company must be allowed to export material extracted and stockpiled. This is a legal requirement under section 71(4) of the Mines Act,” the letter dated 2nd April this year, said.
Despite the positive advice by the AG’s Chambers, it appears Bintang’s competitor, Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) has stopped the full consignment leaving the country.
To date, Bintang was able to export only 50, 000 tons of its bauxite stockpile. This first shipment brought in an estimated SBD800, 000 in taxes to the Government as well as an additional SBD120, 000 in royalty payments to landowner on Rennell.
Bintang has a stockpile of about 406, 000 tons sitting on Rennell. The action by APID is denying the Government millions of dollars in much-needed revenue as well as royalty payments to landowners.
By Alfred Sasako