Gov’t stabs Isabel

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Group Photo of Isabel Tripod leadership and members of the government delegations
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DCCG ignores Isabel Tripod leaders’ wishes, moves to grant mining licence this week

BY BEN BILUA

PEOPLE of Isabel province are questioning the DCC government’s sudden move to give licence to a company to mine Nickel on the island.

This shock move by government comes only a week after it held dialogue with the province’s leaders.

The Isabel Tripod leadership presented government with a communique as response to the dialogue, asking for time during which issues pertaining to the Isabel Nickel project are resolved before leaping into mining.

Paramount Chief of Isabel Province Bishop James Mason made it clear that Isabel leaders need time and that government must allow enough time for Isabel leaders to sort out issues more especially land issues in the province.

The summary of the communique clearly spells out a moratorium to programmes and activities trying to fast track the mining development.

But this week government has changed skin, the Mines and Mineral Board was forced to hold a meeting to screen investors who are interested in the project.

On Wednesday, the Mines and Mineral Board met but the meeting was suspended until next week after Isabel leaders through the Isabel Province Youth Forum (IPYF) submitted a petition reminding the Mines and Mineral Board of the communique that spelt out the position of Isabel leaders in regards to the proposed mining project.

Speaking in anonymity, a source familiar with the issue said the government is getting out of hand and cannot control its ambition to facilitate the development as soon as possible.

The source said programme and activities that have mobiles this week has put the Communique agreed by the Government and Isabel Tripod at stake.

“There is a question whether the government will continue to respect the communique or not. This is the main question that still hanging there,” he said.

The source stressed that overstepping the communique will be the least and huge mistake the government will do if government plays the game of one-man decision.

In the meantime, the source said Mines and Mineral Board will meet next week.

The source alleged that the meeting is for the Mines and Mineral Board to screen licence applicants for the mining development.

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