Ultimatum for gov’t to set up processing plant for Isabel Nickel
BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
THE Kolosori landowners association (KLA) has laid down an ultimatum to the national government that any company interested in mining Nickel in Isabel should establish a processing plant.
KLA believes this will ensure maximum benefit for landowners, people of Isabel, provincial government, national government and the country as a whole.
In a media statement, the association says it is sick and tired of hearing exploitation of natural resources by investors for meagre returns to the landowners, and says that ‘it is time and only fair that resources owners realise the maximum benefit from their resources’.
“Moreover, the government should ensure that all nickel extracted from Kolosori and the entire Isabel Province (for economic of scale) should be processed so that what is exported are refined product and not merely the soil (raw material).
“A processing plant that serves all the nickel mining operations creates employment for the communities, income tax for government and spawns economic spill-over to the communities.
“It then naturally creates somewhat something similar to the ‘growth centres’ that the preceding governments promised to offer to the people of this nation during their tenure.”
KLA reiterates to the government that any company interested to mine Kolosori must be willing to establish a processing plant.
“Mining is a business operation that any investor would always like to maximise their benefits and only give to the landowners what is due to them under law which is often a tiny fraction of what they get from exploiting their resources,” said KLA.
KLA recommends this has to be changed, and prefers a win-win situation rooted in ‘partnership in development’ as a way forward in Solomon Islands.
Island Sun understands that KLA will be delivering a signed letter to the Mines and Mineral Board (MMB) today, informing them of their position with regards to the issuance of
prospecting licences to any company over Kolosori tenements.
It is also understood that MMB will today hold an extraordinary board meeting, which KLA says will cover application for prospecting licences (PL) over their land (Takata Kolosori tenement).
“Thus, we the KLA is very concerned should the MMB award the PL to another company as KLA also has its locally incorporated mining company called Kolosori Nickel Solomon Islands Limited (KNSI) whose application is with the MMB and yet to be deliberated on,” said KLA.
It is understood that KLA’s letter to the MMB will inform the board of the association’s support for no other company but the KNSI, to mine Nickel in their land.
“In the event your Board issue the LOI to another mining company, definitely that mining company will find it hard to obtain support or land access from us the resources owners. That itself will only delay the Isabel Nickel Project which the SIG really want to see ‘start’ to help in the much needed revenue for the country.
“With that, KLA believes its position is very clear and hopes that this letter will assist your Board in its deliberation when it comes to awarding the LOI over Takata/Kolosori Tenement,” says KLA in its proposed letter to the MMB.