By Alfred Sasako
THE Government has cancelled WorldLink Resources Ltd’s mining licence on West Rennell, citing non-compliance for the action.
The cancellation of ML 03/05 was contained in a letter by the Minister for Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, Bradley Tovosia.
“The company has … failed to comply with the terms and conditions of ML03/15, inter alia, Part A, Clauses 3 and 6.
Part A, Clauses 3 and 6 state: “(3) The Mining company shall carry out mining operations and all relevant operations under the mining Lease in accordance with the plans and program contained in the approved Feasibility Study which accompanied the mining lease application or any unapproved plans and program from time to time.
“(6) The mining company shall perform and comply with the environmental, reclamation and rehabilitation program of lands disturbed or affected by mining operations under the mining lease,” the letter dated 15th November 2018, said.
The Minister added, “Since my letter dated 10th August 2018, compliance by the Company with the Suspension Letter has been minimal and unsatisfactory.”
“In view of the above, pursuant to section 71 of the Mines and Minerals Act [Cap 42] (the Act), I hereby cancel the Mining Lease ML 03/15 issued to the Company,” Minister Tovosia said.
He said the Company has the right under section 71(4) of the Act to seek a review of the decision in the High Court.
In the meantime officials from the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification would be monitoring the situation to ensure the Company complies with legal requirements “to remove any improvements and to make safe and restore the area subject to the … mining lease, as the case may be.”
It is understood Worldlink Resources Ltd has about four shipments ready for exports. The cancellation of the Mining Lease meant that the Company no longer owns the bauxite.
Honiara City Council Member Eric Tema who is a landowner on West Rennell expressed shock at the decision.
“The people of West Rennell are going to suffer. I tell you what, if the Company decides to take the matter to court, the Government has no legs to stand on,” Cr Tema said.