18 Nov 2013

Solomons' Isabel paramount chief speaks out against mining

1:37 pm on 18 November 2013

The paramount chief of Isabel in Solomon Islands says his province is not big enough to support mining operations.

The comment follows a mining forum in Buala, the capital of the province, which is rich in nickel deposits and has two companies vying for extraction rights.

The forum's main resolution is that Isabel is not ready for mining, and delegates have returned to their communities to discuss the issues involved.

Bishop James Mason, who works for an Anglican diocese in Britain, says living outside of the country has reinforced for him how small Isabel is.

"And we are vulnerable to many of these climate changes and if we were to mine these places then resettlement would be another disaster."

Bishop James Mason says the land tenure system in Isabel would not allow for the relocation of those displaced by mining activity.