The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification is urged to cancel Asia Pacific Investment Development’s (APID) mining lease.
West Rennell Resource Owners Association made the call.
APID was issued a licence late last year to carry out bauxite mining on Rennell island.
But association president Jonathan Tohuika said landowners of West Rennell wanted the company out from their land.
Tohuika urged the ministry to seriously take heed of their request.
“The people have now realised that they’ve been tricked at the first place to accept mining on their land,” Tohuika claimed.
“What had happen at the first place and led to the signing of whatever agreements was a cover up.
“It is sad to learn the many irregularities and falsification of documents, even at the expense of less educated rural resource owners.
“APID for this case has used an initial micro-project at first with $20,000 each but then signatures obtained were used differently, making false documents to suggest they got the support of resource owners,” Tohuika claimed.
He said such investor cares nothing about resource owners; all they want is money.
“Yet the ministry responsible saw it fit to allow them to continue doing their operations while our people on the ground face the reality.
“This is a slap on our people; we don’t need mining,” he said.
The landowner’s association president questioned why the government is still accommodating APID and Bintang Borneo when all their dealings are questionable.
He said keeping them this far has raised more social and environmental issues than addressing what they already had – increasing single mothers, high consumption rate of alcohol and drug use, unfilled pits left behind, and oil spills just to mention a few.
“We felt the impact and we want it stopped. Our people do not want this to go any further and causing more problems to our people,” he said.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI