West Rennell LOs want bauxite stockpile cleared

WEST Rennell landowners are appealing to the national government to allow World Link Company to export a large bauxite stockpile it had dug up in their land.

World Link, which operated inside a private registered land in West Rennell, was unable to export the bauxite stockpile after the government cancelled its Mining Lease last year.

It is estimated that the stockpile World Link harvested before its lease was canceled weighs over 210,000 metric tonnes of wet bauxite.

World Link commenced its operation in West Rennell in 2015 until its lease was cancelled last year. It has an export permit. That permit is now invalid after the lease was canceled.

The company has already made 11 shipments of raw wet bauxite out of Rennell since it started operation.

A landowner, Jay Sau’eha, said the lease that allowed World Link to dig up bauxite in their land was issued by the government.

Sau’eha said the company was given an abrupt stop preventing a large bauxite stockpile from being exported.

He said they want the government to give a chance to World Link by allowing it to export this large stockpile.

Three shipments can cater for moving the stockpile.

It is understood Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID), a logging-turned-mining company, and its operating sub-contractor Bintan Mining Company (BMC) are in a high court battle with World Link.

This has put further doubt on World Link’s operation in West Rennell.

Sau’eha said while the two companies are taking up their time fighting a battle in the high court, his people’s plight is not being taken into consideration.

He said prior to stopping World Link’s operation, the government should notice the company to clear any stockpile before an actual stoppage is issued.

Sau’eha revealed World Link has a number of commitments to their communities and the stoppage has ceased these commitments.

He said these include its commitment to build recreational facilities in their community, construct a school and the implementation of a power project in their community.

According to Sau’eha, since the company stopped operating, their people have taken on these initiatives on their own which is costly to carry forward and to maintain.

He said their power project is now unable to move and their people are looking elsewhere for power.

Sau’eha said they want government to find a way to have the bauxite exported than leaving the stockpile become waste.

“It is our hope that responsible authorities would do the right thing and find a way where World Link can export this stockpile,” Sau’eha said.

BMC is the company currently operating in West Rennell under APID’s 25-years bauxite mining lease which covers most West Rennell land.

Some landowners who owned land within the registered site, where World Link operates on, have allowed BMC to dig their gardens.

Sau’eha said their people desperately wanted the stockpile exported so they received money from their resources that have been harvested and to allow World Link to complete its commitments to their community.

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