Investigation to APID’s mining license - Solomon Star News

Investigation to APID’s mining license

25 August 2015

Dear Editor - I read with a lot of interest to Alfred Sasako’s special investigation to APID’s mining lease published in this paper on the 19th of August, 2015.

APID who just only a logging company is very active over the past seven years, with its mining interest prior to this mine row. This is where Rennellese comes to think beyond their limitations that their island can also participate in mining after MITSUI departs about four decades ago, an island whose people does not accept such activity.

Who shifted this unthinkable commercial activity to Rennell people was APID and no one dares to scrutinize its wishes until now-a logging interest. 

This has recently arises when some mining companies has crave after bauxite deposit and wants to throw APID out.

Sasako highlighted PT Mega Bintang Borneo Ltd as the most procedural applicant since 28th April 2014 last year. In 2013 towards the end of 2014 this was a period of conflict among companies competing to mine Rennell and from this period the island was also affected by candidates campaigning for the national and provincial elections, which 28th of April 2014 was fall within that devils time.

 It was during that particular period of time (the election eve last year) that media highlights millions of dollar bill at the Heritage Park Hotel incurred by the former Renbell premier, who was a candidate for the national election.

This million dollar hotel bill was referred by the former premier to PT Mega Bintang Borneo, who was willing to foot that bill.

How much money PT Mega Bintang Borneo ltd willing to throw to responsible government ministries is another interesting thing no one knows? Phrases like expired, missing file, walkabout and so fort will definitely played very well.

Moreover, to my understanding the claim that PT Mega Bintang Borneo signed an agreement in Rennell with landowners is not true. It was done in one of the Hotel in Honiara, where landowners were informed that the money received was a sitting allowance.

Furthermore, some new challenges arise in the mining controversy with the formation of the so called West Rennell taskforce. The aim of this taskforce is to deregister APID’s tenement, a move spearheaded by politicians such as the Honiara City Councillor, who affiliated with World Link and visit the island with World Link staff very often.

This only wonders me to ask whether mining Rennell Island is to save struggling landowners/grassroots or to provide more opportunities for politicians to source income to sustain their luxurious lifestyle in town. We must know that money being given to middleman or responsible government ministries if reaches the grass roots, landowners might have proper options to be made over this mining saga.

We cannot blame these companies for what has happen, it was those who responsible that introduces to them this kind of procedure business application to the investors, hence landowners are the ones who are more likely victims over these, when comes to resource harvesting.

I for one is in favour of what APID is doing, but if it is not procedural it maybe because of how these things are being processed in the above stated style. So let alone this mining issue deal by those whose interest is being denied quite so long now, because they might be victim of such practices.

Jay Sauéha
West Rennell