New application for prospecting licence in Rennell


A new mining company has lodged an application for prospecting licence for bauxite mining in Rennell Island, Renbel Province.

Director of Mines Nicholas Biliki confirmed this toIsland Sun yesterday.

Mr Biliki said the mining company, Nickel Exploration SI Limited lodged its application on Thursday last week, June 3, 2021.

He said the company is a locally incorporated mining company registered in the Solomon Islands Company Haus.

Mr Biliki said the Mines and Mineral Board will meet soon to look into the new application and decide on it.

“Depending on a due diligence process undertaken now, the application will be deliberated on maybe in the third quarter board meeting which is three months away,” Biliki said.

He said a social media post which was posted in a popular local Facebook forum yesterday was misleading to suggest that the Mines and Mineral Board have accepted the mining company.

“There is still no decision reached yet on this new application. We cannot just accept a company, it has to satisfy all the necessary process and requirements,” he said.

Biliki adds the he is not sure about their particular area of interest (tenement) but the application is for Rennell.  

The new application comes seven months after the Mines and Mineral Board cancelled Winning license to prospect bauxite on Rennell Island.

This was due to failure by Winning Mining Limited to meet any of the conditions of its licence. One is making a commercial discovery and publishing data from its findings.

The Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) has also been de-registered from the West Rennel Land Parcel No. 298-005-1 as the title holder effective as of October 2020.

Currently, all mining operations in Rennell are on hold. 

Rennell Island, a largest raised coral atoll in the world is rich in bauxite but over the years, logging and mining operations have torn the rocky atoll apart, placing people’s livelihoods at stake. 

Local Environment Activist, Lawrence Makili earlier told Radio Australia that the government should not allow any more mining on Rennell, and all mining applications should be frozen. 

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