18 Nov 2013

Solomons government accused of lacking ability to monitor mining

4:51 pm on 18 November 2013

An environmental organisation says the Solomon Islands government lacks the capability to monitor mining effectively in the country.

The Nature Conservancy hosted a forum on mining last week in Buala, the provincial capital of Isabel, where two companies are vying for the rights to mine nickel.

Forum delegates decided Isabel is not ready for mining and have returned to their communities to discuss the issues involved.

But the conservancy's programme director for Solomon Islands, Willie Atu, says the government cannot oversee additional mining operations.

"We only have one mining in Guadalcanal and currently the monitoring and even going out there and having a ...the government lacks facility and capacity. So like if this happens on another island it would be heading on more challenges for the government."

Willie Atu says people also want a revision of mining legislation so benefits are shared more equitably.