More than 20 mineral companies are seeking exploration and mining licences from the national government to operate in the country.
Records the Sunday Star cited show a total of 129 applications have been lodged with the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification.
Topping the list are those eying offshore exploration.
Offshore or undersea exploration is currently being done in Papua New Guinea waters.
Documents show Bluewater Minerals (SI) Ltd is seeking to explore a total of 81 tenements in the country’s waters.
Of those 81, 67 tenements are under valid exploration licence while 14 are still pending the minister’s signature.
All tenements are located within Temotu province, while one at Kana Keoki in Western Province.
Japanese Sumitomo Mining is seeking six tenements in Isabel and Choiseul, but with only one valid exploration licence.
Other five tenements are still awaiting the outcome to their submitted application for mining lease to the Mines and Minerals Board.
In Guadalcanal, 22 applications have been submitted for various tenements on the island.
Of those companies showing interest, Australia Resource Management has one tenement of valid exploration at Kuma, while their licence for Fauro in Western Province had expired.
Solomon Bauxite has one valid exploration license for bauxite on Wagina Island; while Asia Pacific Development Limited had one for Rennell.
Solomon Alluvial Mining Ltd is seeking for its Guadalcanal tenement but this was never renewed.
Guadalcanal Exploration Pty Ltd is eying three tenements at Lower Koloula, Malakuna and Koloula extention on Guadalcanal.
Axiom Mining Ltd has two valid exploration and prospecting licenses; one on Guadalcanal and another in Western Province.
Solomon Commodities Ltd has two tenements valid under exploration licence on Guadalcanal while AU Capital Mining Pty Ltd has one valid tenement for North West Choiseul.
Linc Corporation Ltd has a valid licence to explore for phosphate and other minerals in Rennell.
Worldlink Gold and Copper Ltd have two tenements on Guadalcanal and a valid prospecting licence searches for Gold, copper and other minerals.
World Link Resources Ltd had been given two tenements – one on West Rennell and Ziata project in Western province.
Solomon Mining resources Ltd has a valid licence for a tenement on Guadalcanal, while is also eying three3 sites on Lithogahira, Isabel.
Solomon Islands Gold Pty Ltd has one valid prospecting licence on Guadalcanal.
Solomon Islands Property Investment Corporation (SIPIC) had applied for a tenement on Guadalcanal but is still awaiting the minister’s signature.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI