THE Government has been warned to consult landowners on any proposed sale of the Gold Ridge mine in Central Guadalcanal.
Chairman of Gold Ridge Community and Landowners Council, Dick Douglas, issued the warning on Friday.
He was responding to the special secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr Philip Tagini’s statement that the government is negotiating with foreign investors on the sale of Gold Ridge mine.
“I warned the government not to by-pass my council in any negotiations on the sale of the mine,” Mr Douglas said.
“I’m surprised Dr Tagini bypassed my council and announced the government’s intentions to the world, whilst the legitimate owners of the land and resources are left in suspense.
“Dr Tagini needs to come clean and explain to my council the government’s intentions and plans about the sale.”
He said their participation in any sale talks is paramount because many of the agreements have been breached by operators of the Gold Ridge mine.
“All operators of Gold Ridge mine came through the government’s door but failed to meet their obligations, including SIG.
“So it is paramount that we are part of any negotiations,” Mr Douglas said.
“We want to listen to any potential operators and ask questions that the government will never ask on our behalf, so we welcome any potential investor.”
Mr Douglas stated that the all agreements pertaining to the Gold Ridge mine are still valid.
“But we do not want that operator to bypass our council, the legitimate body that represents the interests of all land and resource owners of Gold Ridge.
“The message any potential buyer must know is that previous governments and operators have miserably failed to fulfil their obligations set out in the various agreements we signed in 1996.
“Therefore you need to listen to us and consider our inputs in any negotiations,” Douglas said.