Heavy mining machines leased from Lae in from Papua New Guinea have landed at Kolosori mine site on Isabel this morning as Pacific Nickel kick starts mining in the province.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines, Energy & Rural Electrification (MME&RE) Dr Chris Vehe confirmed to SBMOnline today the arrival of the machines and also the beginning of mining operations on Kolosori.
Dr Vehe said there are two mining companies developing two Nickel projects in Isabel. They are Solomon Islands Resources Company Ltd and Pacific Nickel Mining Ltd.
He further confirmed that the machines that arrived from PNG belong to Pacific Nickel Mining Ltd.
The arrival marks the beginning of mining operation at Kolosori.
When asked if Pacific Nickel Mining Ltd has met all the requirements before undertaking mining, Dr Vehe has confirmed yes.
SBMOnline was told by those who involved in the transportation of the machineries that the machines were sub-contracted from a PNG company known as HBS based in Lae.
The machines were brought in by a privately owned boat, GFS Marine 05, and is skippered by a Solomon Islander.
The ship transported amongst other machineries two excavators weighting 50 tons each, 4 dump-trucks, a grader, a container and a speedboat.
Nickel mining on Isabel had been pursued in the past ten years involving one of Japan’s biggest companies Sumitomo as well as Australian company Axiom. However, the two were unsuccessful in their attempts to mine nickel in the country’s longest island. This latest news as confirmed by the ministry of mines mean nickel mining will finally take place on Isabel.
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