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Cooperation vital in mining industry: Toba

THE Director of Mines says cooperation is the only way forward to develop a safer and beneficial mining industry.

Speaking to the media last week, Mr Thomas Toba said mining development is a risk taking development but, with strong policy guidelines the industry can mitigate some of the issues.

He said the launching of the Mineral Policy is a good start for the country as it focuses on developing the mineral industry.

Mr Toba said the recently launched Minerals Policy accommodates some of the social responsibilities the government, investors and landowners are expected to carry out to minimise the impacts of mining.

He told the media that the Minerals Policy outlined Cooperate social responsibility of investor and also part the government can play.

Mr Toba explained that the policy documents gives a clear roadmap for the investment community, landowners and the general public to establish a competitive mineral sector regime that is informed by international best practices but is grounded in local conditions.

He said the heart of the policy is to create an inclusive mineral sector governance arrangements that provides efficient, transparent, affordable and culturally appropriate decision-making processes at all steps in the mining lifecycle for long term interest of all stakeholders.

Mr Toba further explained that the Policy recognise the Ministry as the regulator but encourages government ministries, NGOs, other stakeholders as well as investors to create ground work that are inclusive in minimising impact of mining activities.

“The important fact is that this policy incorporate landowners, community leaders, church leaders, chiefs, traditional leaders in assessing mining operations.

“Creation of this community corporates, mandatory development agreements and development plans ensure community inspectors are empowered to assist national government in mitigating impact of mining,” he said.

Mr Toba said Solomon Islands government through the ministry of mines is committed to achieving sustainable development outcomes and at the same time seeks to balance environmental and social requirements with competitive tax system, fair and level playing field for investors.

He said cooperation between players is a high recommendation to achieve better mining industry that is beneficial with minimal impact.