More foreign companies are seeking prospecting and full mining licences from the government, records from the Mining Department revealed.
The records showed 25 companies have been issued with exploration licences and are currently on active prospecting.
This number could increase after the Mines and Minerals board met last Friday to consider some of the applications.
The records also showed to date, only three companies have been granted mining licences.
They are Gold Ridge Mining, Phoenix, and Solomon Alluvial – all operating on Guadalcanal.
However, of this three, Gold Ridge has been the only active mining operation while the other two are inactive and are subject to review by the Mines and Minerals board.
Sources have also confirmed to the Sunday Star that more mining companies are applying for mining licences to the department.
They include Sumitomo, for its Choiseul and Isabel tenements, and Asia Pacific Investment and Development Limited (APID) and Bintang Borneo Mining for the bauxite deposit on Rennell.
Amongst the 25 prospecting companies, two have doing undersea exploration in Western and Temotu provinces.
They are Nautilaus Minerals (SI) and Blue Water Metals (SI) Limited.
Sources said almost all provinces have been on the miners’ radars.
BY BRADFORD THEONOMI