Mining firm clarifies export claim  - Solomon Star News

Mining firm clarifies export claim 

23 February 2020
The Turarana river in Central Guadalcanal.

Win Win Mining Company that operates alluvial gold mining at Turarana in Central Guadalcanal has clarified allegations regarding export of gold without using local gold dealers.

Information reaching the paper has it that the action by the company to export gold using local dealers is not right given no government tax would be paid on such dealings.

A report obtained from the Ministry of Finance & Treasury, Customs and Exercise, shows different dates the company used to send golds out of the country.

The dates includes 8th February 2019, 13th, 16th and 20th August 2019, 3rd, 10th, 18th, 24th September 2019. 

The latest one was on the 6th January 2020.

It is alleged the company uses local dealers and other Chinese officials as consignee to take the golds away with around 78.47kg

But Win Win Mining Director Mr Charles Meke told the paper the export was done according to requests from resource owners as their livelihood demands is very high.

Meke said following those allegations, a team from the mines ministry has just visited them and they were shown all the bars which are already been prepared for export.

He said with regards the alluvial golds; it attracts 5% tax to the government which has to be paid by the local dealer named Primo Sade, under the Mines and Mineral’s Act or Customs Tariff Act.

“If we have to draw a line of demarcation as to export, that is alluvial gold through Primo and not the company’s product as it only permitted to locals and not to any foreigner,” he said.

He said Primo has come up with such idea due to pressure from the landowners as every day after panning those golds, they come to the camp wanting to sell those alluvial golds for their immediate livelihood needs.

Meke said nothing is wrong with that as people continues to get what they want from their panning of golds. 

“Those people’s livelihood depend on gold and since it’s their needs, we can’t do much to hold back but to do as they want through the local dealer’s licence,” he said.

“Every day we continue to see them coming and they brought with them women, children with all kinds of needs and as they are our employees.

“We have no other option but to help them especially with their basic needs in education (school fees), health and other basic household needs,” he added.

Meke said the claim of no tax was incurred is not true given 5% of the alluvial gold mining export was paid to the government under the Mines and Mineral’s Act. 

He said they were planning to do an export last months but due to the custom’s tariff is too high in terms of percentage, they held back. 

“Negotiations have been made with the Attorney General’s office and we are still waiting for his response,” he said.

Meanwhile, outspoken civil activist Lawrence Makili said such allegation should give a strong attention by the ministry responsible to ensure mining companies operating in the country are genuine investors.

“This allegation shows they are not genuine investors, they are here just to reap off our resources and I would like to call on the current government to investigate and make sure those people do the right thing or are deported as they are not wanted investors,” he added.  

Makili said Win Win Company is the same company that was awarded with an Exploration License Isabel Province by the ministry of mines.

He said in January 2019, the company from Main Land China rushed to acquire a tenement to do alluvial gold mining at Turarana in Central Guadalcanal.

“The company was issued with an operational Licence without going through prospecting as required by the law,” he said.