In response to Social Media accusations following a leaked letter written by the Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare MP to the General Manager of Bintan Mining (SI) Limited, the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet wishes to make it clear the following;
- The letter referenced: ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FOR SERVICE TO THE PEOPLE OF SOLOMON ISLANDS was a general display of courtesy by the Highest Office to the effort by an investor, in this case, Bintan to meet (and go beyond) the minimum standards required of mining operations in the country. On this note, it is a usual practice by the Prime Minister to issue a letter of acknowledgment to investors within the country upon receiving positive feedback from various stakeholders including landowners.
- The intention of the letter was to give motivation and boost confidence of investors who are providing services in the country and in the case of Bintan Mining, for their commitment demonstrated so by investing into the local community and towards improving the minimum standard of mining operations. An example of this is the 6.5% royalty payment made by Bintan Ltd to resource owners and both the national and provincial governments, which is more than double the legislated requirement of 3%.
- The letter has no intention to provide any depictions of preferential treatment towards certain investor(s) in this case Bintan Mining (SI) Limited.
- The letter carries the intention to encourage investors to ensure they comply to the law of the country.
- It is also the intention of the letter to encourage engagement between the investor and the people in community service obligations.
- Bintan Mining (SI) Limited operates under a valid mining lease held by APID.
- Further such a letter holds the company accountable for their actions should they fail to meet the required standard and does not indemnify the company from being held liable for non-compliance but rather raises the bar to ensure requirements are met in accordance with the acknowledgement by the Prime Minister.
Important also to note that this is not the first time a Prime Minister has written to acknowledge the efforts of genuine Investors and moving forward neither will it be the last, as the DCCG aims to encourage genuine and legitimate investments within the country to support the development of our national economy.
- PM’s Press Secretariat