27 Mar 2009

Solomon Islands union questions granting of mining license

10:53 am on 27 March 2009

The Solomon Islands National Union of Workers says it is still waiting for the government to explain why it has allowed what is calls a highly questionable company a mining licence.

An alluvial gold mining license has been granted to Phoenix International to mine in the Koleasi area

The General Secretary of the union, Tony Kagovai, says that the union was very concerned about the issuing of the license without proper checks being done on the individuals involved in the venture.

He says the owner of Phoenix International, Kelvyn Alp is known to be anti-authority.

"If you have someone who is anti-authority and does not follow the law and you are with a particular group and you stir them up...We don't [want] to go back to the dark days of Solomon Islands. We want to move forward."

Tony Kagovai.

Kelvyn Alp denys the claims and has demaned an apology from the union.

I've had a history with hte Solomon Islands now for nine years and I've scouted business opportunities. This was one that particularly interested me. I worked closely with the landowners. This isn't a fly by night thing. I've been working on this particular project for 2 years.