Solomon Islands’ government adamant Gold Ridge mine operators behaviour ‘insufficient’
ABC Radio Australia
The stoush between the Solomon Islands government and the operator of the country’s Gold Ridge mine is continuing.
The government’s rejected applications by the operator St Barbara to be allowed to release untreated water from the tailings dam – which contains high levels of arsenic and cyanide.
The mine has been closed since last April’s floods – but St Barbara warns that the dam is at risk of overflowing, which could be detrimental to the nearby environment.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Dr Melchior Mataki, says the company’s proposals are insufficient.
He says the water needs to first be treated — and the responsibility and costs should be covered by St Barbara, not the Solomon Islands’ government.
But in a recent statement, the Gold Ridge Mining Limited claimed it has done everything in its power to minimise the risk of overflowing and it called on the Government to approve its plans.
St Barbara says Solomons mine price tag wrong
Radio New Zealand
The owners of the closed Gold Ridge gold mine are disputing a Solomon Islands government report that it is on the market for $US76 million.
The Solomons’ government put this figure in a media release but the company St Barbara says both it and the government had earlier agreed on a nominal price for the mine.
A spokesperson for St Barbara says that nominal price is confidential.
The Solomons government has also confirmed that it will not buy the mine.
St Barbara says it is currently negotiating a potential transfer of the ownership of Gold Ridge to a Solomons company associated with local landowners.
There are also reports that a Papua New Guinea company is interested in a joint venture.