7 Sep 2004

Solomons landowners want Gold Ridge Mine reopened

10:22 am on 7 September 2004

In Solomon Islands, landowners of the Gold Ridge Mine want the mine reopened despite reports of unrest near the former mine site.

The mine was was closed at the height of the ethnic crisis on Guadalcanal in 2000.

The chairman of the Gold Ridge Company, Paul Tovua, confirms that bidding has reopened to interested companies overseas.

Mr Tovua says the Sydney investment bank RFC Corporate Finance, which is handling the sale, has already received offers from well-known mining houses, including Australia's St Barbara Mines, and South Africa's DRD.

The mineaccounted for 30 percent of the Solomon Islands' gross domestic product closed when it was overrun by militants in 2000 and forced the company, Delta Gold, to evacuate its staff.