Solomons govt remains against untreated mine water release

gold ridge

Radio New Zealand

The Solomon Islands government has reinforced its position against the release of untreated water from the tailings dam of the country’s closed goldmine.

The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, Meteorology and Disaster Management concludes that the main water at the tailings facility at Gold Ridge mine is unsafe.

In a torrent of newly released information, the government has delivered a long list of reasons for its position against the untreated release of water from the Gold Ridge dam.

Some of the reasons include a critique of the sampling methods used in the recently released WHO tests on water quality which declared the tailings water safe.

The government also cites a lack of consideration of the longterm cumulative effect on the environment and the belief that allowing the release of untreated water into the environment would set a bad precedent for future mining activities in the country.

The government also in its statement revealed that its initial negotiations to purchase the mine from Australian owners St Barbara involved a price tag of around 76 million US dollars.

This is an amount Solomon Island taxpayers no longer have to fork out as the government has since backed out of the deal which is now left in the hands of local land owning communities in the mine area and an unnamed foreign investor.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Human rights, Solomon Islands

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