Mines Permanent Secretary Jeffery Kauha has denied claims he delayed the Mines and Minerals Board meeting two weeks ago.
Instead, he said the meeting has been convened but was not attended by the AG Chambers on one occasion and the Director was sick on the next.
“It is the board that decides, not me. It’s a collective decision and we have to respect what has been said,” Kauha said.
Premier Colin Singamoana Tesu’atai last month urged the Prime Minister that the Permanent Secretary and the Director be fired for failure to act on AG’s recommendation to suspend APID’s mining lease.
He described the board’s delay to make any decision; highly suspicious.
Later the premier retracted his call and instead supported APID as the only genuine mining company operating on Rennell and people are supporting it.
“APID’s presence in Rennell is not causing any problems and anger among the people as has been reported in the media recently.
“APID currently is the only company in Renbel Province that is paying a business licence fee to the provincial government with Bintan Mining Solomon Islands (BMSI), the bauxite mining operator in Rennell, paying $750,000 yearly.”
“So who he is telling the truth here,” a concerned Rennell landowner said.
“Seem as if everybody is barking on every corner trying to please someone, this is not good.
“Responsible people with authority should act accordingly with integrity and uphold laws of the country,” he added.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI