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Tension mounting over Bauxite in Temotu

TENSION is mounting among political members over the Bauxite deposit in Temotu Province.

Mr Dykes Joseph of Temotu province said some political leaders of Temotu Province are trying to oust Premier Nelson Omar Menale in effort to allow a mining company to harvest the bauxite deposits.

He said a mining company has put pressure on certain leaders to oust Premier Menale following failed attempts to obtain Business Licence from the province.

Mr Joseph said the company has been denied Temotu Provincial Business Licence (TPBl) since it was given a Letter Of Intent (LOI) by Ministry of Mines and Energy last year.

He alleged that a former Premier of Temotu Province is one of the few leaders who are vying to change the leadership of the province so that the company can operate in the province.

Mr Joseph said representative from the company and some leaders of Temotu province have met and discussed ways forward to implement the proposal.

He added that huge amount of money has been bonded to those who oppose the current premier.

Mr Joseph said people of Temotu fully condemn such action and that they want any mining company to stay out of the affairs of Temotu provincial government.

“Any move to topple Menale from Premiership post just to grant [the company] License to carry out mining operations in West Nende bauxite will be condemned in a strong term and such leader will be dealt with seriously,” he said.

Mr Joseph also claims that the process through which the company obtained its letter of intent from the ministry of mines was also questionable, adding, interested investors must consult the rightful landowners of west Nende.

“Any investor who is interest in the future on the West Nende bauxite must contact real landowners who are living in town or at Santa Cruz Islands so that majority landowners are notified before mining application is submitted to Mines and Mineral Board,” he said.

Mr Joseph warns investors that any interest in Temotu Province must follow proper process and procedures so that the Provincial and the landowners have equal say on such developments.

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