Tribal landowners in the Solomon Islands are threatening the Ministry of Mines and Energy with legal action for issuing a prospecting license to the Australian company Iron Mountain Mining.
The licence grants the company the rights to prospect for bauxite deposits in a tenement on Nende Island in Temotu Province.
A spokesperson for the Nende tribal landowners told the Solomon Star newspaper due process was not followed by the company or ministry officials.
Stanley Bade said legal action was being considered on the grounds that there was insufficient consultation with the community and that the mines and minerals board was by-passed in the process.
The ministry of mines told the paper it would release a formal statement once an internal investigation into the matter is concluded.