A Guardian report has revealed that a mining operation owes millions in unpaid taxes and royalties to the Solomon Islands. According to information garnered from a senior governmental official, the Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) company and its subcontractor, Bintan Mining Solomon Islands Ltd (BMSI), have not paid taxes or royalties on over one-third of their exports over the past five years.
The companies have been exporting bauxite ore, used in aluminium production, from the West Rennell islands since 2015, with 100 shipments shipped overseas. However, it has been revealed that they have paid royalties for only 67 of the 100 shipments during their operation.
Last year, former Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela, commenting on the case, said: “Sadly, the Solomon Islands have not benefited from the Rennell mining operations.”
Former Director of Mines Nicholas Biliki estimates that the unpaid ore shipments leave roughly A$13.4m owed to landowners and around A$1.65m owed in taxes, as well as approximately A$1.65m owed in payments to rehabilitate the island.