Solomon Islands provinces get US$10 million for infrastructure


<p style="text-align: justify;">Solomon Islands Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has announced a US$10 million investment to build new infrastructure in the country’s Choiseul and Isabel provinces.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The financial assistance will primarily help Choiseul and Isabel provinces to build roads and wharves around the two islands in preparation for the nickel mining operations on the islands.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The country is laying emphasis on mining its mineral resources as it expects its export mainstay – logging – to decline in the coming years. In anticipation of this, the country needs urgent investment in infrastructure to facilitate the transportation of mineral resources from remote provinces.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“It is important that the solution to this is to work with Choiseul and Isabel on the nickel resources. To rescue the economy after 2015 when economic contribution from the forestry sector will decline,” Mr Lilo said. The two provinces are estimated to hold vast volumes of minerals, particularly nickel for which there is a continuing demand from the fast growing economies of Asia.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The government says it is putting in place programmes to integrate mineral exploitation with social development. Mr Lilo has indicated that the government was likely to issue a license to Japanese major Sumitomo for mineral exploration in the provinces by the end of this year.</p>
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<p style="text-align: justify;">Photo / Dev Nadkarni</p>