Bintan owes landowner $366,964

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Road infrastructure in Rennell.
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By EDDIE OSIFELO

BINTAN Mining SI Limited has owed Biunalu landowners on Rennell island $366,964.07 after it halted its operation two years ago.

At the same time, the landowners’ credits towards the company are $921, 144.16.

Biunalu tribe is among other clans that offered their land to Bintan for bauxite mining since 2014.

According to the landowners’ spokesperson, the company owes:

  1. John Morries – $106, 202.12
  2. Aljay Tuhaika – $41,183.26
  3. James Teugua – $100,591.13
  4. Wesly Hakanoa – $40,834.77
  5. Brian Saoba Group – $59,494.09
  6. Owen Baipolo & Joshua Tepai – $15,000.00
  7. Prince Temahua – $11,650.00
  8. Sylvia Tebegi – $5,508.70

Furthermore, other outstanding claims include:

  1. Security payments from 31 July 2019 to 22 May 2022
  2. 36 months at $10,000 totalled $360,000
  • Road access from 22 May 2018 to 31 December 2020
  • Outstanding is $165,000
  • From 31 December 2020 to 22 May 2022
  • Total is $240,000
  • Machine storage $3000 per night, $3000 per day
  • From 11 November 2019 to 22 May 2022
  • Total cost is $5,466,000.00
  • 15 stockpiles remain
  • 40,000 times 5 total $200,000

In the meantime, Rex Soaika of Tehakamagoku tribe claimed they are still to receive any payments from more than 30 Head of Agreement (HOA) signed with Bintan.

Soaika said according to HOA, if the company exported 70,000 dry metric tonnes of bauxite, the company must pay the landowners $200,000 per shipment.

He said this is different from royalties and lease payment.

Soiaka said the company needs to settle their debts before they allow any mining in future.

Bintan Mining SI Ltd was the contractor of Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) Limited, which held the mining license over the tenements on Rennell Island.

However, the Mines and Mineral Board has cancelled APID’s license after it failed to carry out bauxite mining on Rennell Islands in the last two years during the Covid 19 outbreak.

Permanent Secretary of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification permanent secretary, Dr Christopher Vehe said from what he got from the Mines and Mineral Board, there was no operation done during the covid 19 which left the project idled.

Dr Vehe said APID has challenged the Mines Board for its decision to cancel its license in court at the moment.

However, he said Nickel Enterprise SI Limited has submitted a letter of intent to the Ministry to mine bauxite on Rennell Islands.

The company is owned by a Singapore based company, Solomon Enterprise PTE. Limited.

Dr Vehe said the Director of Mines and Secretariate of Mines and Mineral Board have carried out due diligence and found Nickel Enterprise SI Ltd has close associate with Bintan Mining SI Ltd.

He said Nickel Enterprise SI Ltd submitted its application during the leadership of former Director of Mines, Nicholas Biliki.

As such, no company is endorsed by the Mineral Board to mine the bauxite on Rennell Islands at the moment.

At the same time, APID, which holds the mining license over the tenement on Rennell is challenging a judicial review on the Mineral Board’s decision to cancel its license.

Soaika claimed Bintan General Manager Fred Tang was behind the move to push Nickel Enterprise SI Ltd to get license from Mines and Mineral Board in order to pay the outstanding creditors of Bintan.

Island Sun understands the owners of Bintan had already left the country.


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