Dear Editor,

Great response from Charlie Kieu except on two fronts.

First, he's obviously mixed up alluvial mining with hard rock operations. Separate kettle of fish altogether, mate!

Secondly, the issue of 50 per cent share which Mr. Kieu and Saiki are carrying on about. That's an arrangement between the HOKOLA Landowners Association and the developer. Something I cannot change, except to report such arrangement.

Whether it comes after tax or not, again that's something that both sides decided before they signed an agreement on it earlier this year.

I cannot report on anything I have not been told.

Unlike other journalists who put words in people's mouth by reporting what they thought the people said and meant, I can't do that. It's one of the cardinal rule of journalism.

And for the record, in my 30-plus years in reporting, I have not come across one single incident where I was accused of putting words in people's mouth.

Of course there are journalists who do that sort of thing today. I try not to be one of them.

I report what is said to me, no less no more.

If this is seen to be defensive so be it. And I stand by my earlier point that there's little that Kieu and PNG for that matter can offer the Solomon Islands in the mining industry.

Only the scars of the Bougainville mine, yes. Bouganiville mine is hard rock mining, not alluvial which is being carried out on Guadalcanal.