Dewatering starts at Solomons gold mine

Radio New Zealand, 31 March 2016

The over-full tailings dam facility at the Gold Ridge Gold Mine on Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands. January 2015. At the time this was captured the water level was one metre from the brink with 3 months to go in the wet season. Photo: copyright Dr Matthew Allen - Australian National University

The over-full tailings dam facility at the Gold Ridge Gold Mine in January 2015 when the water level was one metre from the brink with 3 months to go in the wet season. Photo: Dr Matthew Allen

The local owners of Solomon Islands Gold Ridge gold mine have begun the dewatering process at the mine’s overfull tailings dam.

This comes several months after a water treatment plant was installed for the purpose which is deemed an important step towards restarting the mine operation.

The chairperson of Gold Ridge Community Investments Ltd, Walton Naezon, said a series of lab tests found the treated water surpassed WHO standards for safe water and saw them awarded a licence to begin draining the dam.

“And our licencse is to dewater about 540 thousand cubic meters of water. And we will do 12 thousand cubic meters a day at about 500 cubic metres an hour. So that is the licence we got and we have started and we hope to go for the next three months.”

Walton Naezon said the next three months would also see structural and engineering assessments carried out at the mine complex in preparation for reconstruction work to begin.

In December, Gold Ridge Community Investments Limited signed an agreement with Australia-based Chinese company AXF Group to take on operation of the mine.

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Filed under Environmental impact, Solomon Islands

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