RENNELL island is a step closer to hosting its first ever mining project after four tribal landowning groups signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an Indonesian mining company Bintang Borneo last week.
The historic ceremony took place at Tingoa between landowners from East and West Rennell with the mining firm.
A nine-member delegation from the mining firm visited the province to hold talks with the landowners.
Renbel premier Lence Tango led the delegation to conduct talks with the landowners before signing the deal.
Speaking exclusive to the Solomon Star yesterday Mr Tango said the signing of the MOU is to allow the company to enter the island.
“Let me make this clear that the signing does not mean the company will now start prospecting.
“The landowners and the company would return again next month for another consultation,” he said.
Mr Tango said with the MOU would ensure the company can start injecting money and build some infrastructures on the Island.
“Landowners have met this nine-man delegation and signed a MOU to allow the company improve some of the existing infrastructures.”
A final MOU will be signed later once the landowners agreed to allow for prospecting to start, he said.
He appealed to his people to come forward and support the new development.
“Renbel people should not resist this development because after many years of remaining idle it’s time to develop this province.
“My government wants to help the people because they have suffered for so long without any support and development taking place.
“Therefore, we invite this Indonesian mining company to come and help our people and build our economy through the power of our executive members and not me,” premier Tango said.
The next consultation between the landowners and the company will be held soon.
He also acknowledged the four tribes who have agreed and signed the MOU.
“This development will help us by making our life easier than what we had gone through in the past years,” he said.
It’s understood the MOU will be forwarded to the Ministry of Mines and Energy this week.
By DENVER NEWTER