The Mines Division is one of the 5 main Divisions that make up the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification. The Mines Division has the full responsibility for executing and administering the Mines and Minerals Act and its Regulations. Apart from the Directorate Office, there are 3 other sections in the Mines Division that fulfil its responsibilities and obligations. These sections include the Tenement Section, the Inspectorate and Monitoring Section and the Economic Geology Section.
The Tenement Section of the Mines Division is responsible for the management of all exploration tenements, administration and facilitating of mineral rights and updating of tenement maps.
The Section’s scope of duties include facilitating applications for the following mineral rights which are then forwarded to the Mines and Minerals Board for approval and recommendations to the Minister:
The Tenement Section coordinates and liaises with the Directorate office and the landowners and companies in facilitating the process for negotiating a surface access agreement before a license can be granted by the Minister. The duties of the Tenement officers are essential in ensuring that the processes under the Mines and Minerals Act are followed and understood by all parties involved. In addition to these roles, the Tenement Section is also responsible for maintaining a register of all mining rights applications received by the Mines Division.
Economic Geology Section
The Economic Geology Section is the Mines Division’s investment opportunities promoter.
The Section is responsible for the promotion of all potential mineral exploration sites in the Solomon Islands and for implementing and assessing the potential of economic and aggregate mineral resources throughout the country.
In terms of investment, the Section is responsible for facilitating the needs of investors and potential investors in the minerals and mining sector. The Section carries out this role through the promotion of key industrial and economic mineral publications such as the publication of mineral occurrence maps and exploration company reports as well as through the review and updating of mineral exploration data which it then makes available to potential investors.
In addition to these roles, the Section is also responsible for raising public awareness on the benefits of mineral investments and played a key role in coordinating the formulation of Solomon Islands’ first ever National Mineral Policy.
The Inspection and Monitoring section within the Mines Division deals mainly with compliance issues in inspecting and monitoring all prospecting and mining activities within the Solomon Islands.
Furthermore the Section assists in the administration, management and coordination of the Mines Division work program in relation to the formulation of policy matters to monitor and inspect any mining and mineral exploration activities as required by the Solomon Islands Government (SIG).
The Inspectorate Section ensures that all facilities carrying out prospecting and mining activities in the Solomon Islands have approved mining plans, production schedules and environmental management plans.
The Section is also responsible for advising the Government on the implications of any changes to such plans with a particular focus on implications on the environment and on occupational labour health and safety standards.