Tribes sign new pact with Hyundai - Solomon Star News

Tribes sign new pact with Hyundai

05 December 2019
Some of the land owning tribe members who attended the signing ceremony.

SEVEN tribes that owned aggregate resources in the Tina River area in central Guadalcanal signed an agreement with the Hyundai Engineering Company Ltd [HEC] to supply aggregate sources. 

Hyundai Engineering Company Ltd [HEC], a Korean firm, will construct the Tina Hydro Dam in Central Guadalcanal. 

The agreement signed Tuesday 3rd December 2019 relates to the development of the aggregate resources located along the river in front of Tina Community, and the tribes agree that HEC collects, transports and uses aggregates as construction materials, and pays royalties under conditions set out in the agreement.

Speaking on behalf of the seven tribes, Interim Chairman of the Vatumarasa Resources Ltd, Ben Afuga who heads the negotiations with HEC, said they fully support the Tina Hydro project. 

“Our tribes see the importance of the Tina Hydro project therefore we have allowed our aggregate resources to be used for the development of the dam which is the main ingredient of the Tina Hydro project,” Afuga said. 

“After intense negotiations, we agreed and managed to finally sign the agreement yesterday,” he added.

“This is a demonstration of our support and we will work with Hyundai Engineering to ensure the dam is completed within its timeline, and that our people receive the benefits of this development.” 

Ha Huang Ryle, project manager of the Hyundai Engineering Company Limited, was excited about the signing and promised the seven tribal landowners that his company will work hand in hand with the resource owners to ensure they benefit from this development. 

“We are happy and we need your cooperation to achieve our purpose,” a quiet Ryle told representatives of the seven tribes in a low key ceremony.

In the agreement, HEC will pay royalties and utilizes aggregates as construction materials. 

HEC will collect transport aggregates and install and operate a crusher plant. 

Furthermore HEC will maintain a route for aggregate transportation. 

The tribes will establish a company for the gain of licences for aggregates development and for the operation of a quarry. 

They will also supply road access to the quarry, and for transportation of aggregates. 

The aggregate development period will be four years, and should commences on 6th December and lapse in December 2023. 

However, if additional stockyard is available, additional development is possible. 

According to study reports by HEC, the total area for the source of aggregates is 482,200 cubic meters. 

As a way to minimize and collectively resolve issues which always hinder big projects, the tribes agreed to settle civil complaints and disputes. 

“The seven tribes shall be responsible to settle any civil complaints and disputes about aggregate development for the sake of construction implementation. 

“The responsibility for dispute resolution rests with our tribes. 

“Issues like traffic interruption, disputes with the existing logging road and others between quarry site and access road of construction is ours, so we have a huge responsibility ahead of us,” Afuga said. 

“Any issues that require the House of Chiefs, Police and the courts will always be referred to these established jurisdictions,” he added. 

Vatumarara Resources Ltd [VRL] is the tentative name for the local company that will manage and control the quarry development and operation during the development period. 

In terms of employment, Afuga promised tribal members that VRL will soon be providing employment besides the Tina Hydro project. 

“Human resources from our tribes and communities will be recruited first for collection of aggregates and operation of a quarry, whilst HEC will recruit people for running and maintenance of a crusher plant. 

“Employment in Central Guadalcanal will be huge given this development, the Tina Hydro project, the Gold Ridge Mining project which sets to get into full operation first quarter of next year, the Win-win Alluvial mining and logging operations in Central Guadalcanal. 

“But the real challenge for us is how to utilize the benefits for future generation. 

“We must plan for tomorrow. 

“Plan things that will benefit our children, their children and their children’s children. 

“Let’s not be egotistical or selfish and take all the benefits for ourselves today. No. 

“Under my leadership, this is not going to happen,” Afuga told the seven tribe representatives during the signing ceremony. 

Work on the aggregate development at Tina River will start soon.