10 Aug 2006

Guadalcanal Premier gives ultimatum to gold miner - start operating or leave

8:04 pm on 10 August 2006

The Guadalcanal provincial premier has given the Australian Solomon Gold company an ultimatum over its activities in the area.

The company has been mining and prospecting for gold for over ten years but closed down in the year 2000 amid the ethnic tension on Guadalcanal.

The company returned almost two years ago but have only been prospecting.

Abel Arambola says they know the gold is there as the export value for gold in 1999 reached 130 million Solomon Island dollars.

He believes the company is dragging its feet and he says the company may not have sufficient resources to begin mining.

"There's a lot of gold out there. You don't need to do prospecting now. That's the only thing, that they are gaining time for something. And we'll find out. We are taking steps, we don't want any more prospecting to be done there. Either they start mining now or leave the prospecting and give a chance to some company who maybe have the money to do the mining."