8 Nov 2007

Solomon Islanders pleased by redevelopment of Gold Ridge Mine

10:57 am on 8 November 2007

A government official in Solomon Islands says locals are overjoyed at the redevelopment of the Gold Ridge mine site in Central Guadalcanal.

The Governor General's Deputy Secretary, Ziza Rawcliffe, was part of an official visit to the mine site last week.

The mine is expected to inject more than 35 percent of revenue into the national economy when it exports gold in 2009, after it was forced to close during the height of the social unrest in 2000.

He says locals support the mine's owner Australia Solomons Gold move to relocate them.

"The local people there, the Gold Ridge mining site, they were really excited because when His Excellency went up there, and then assured the people that the operation was going to benefit all the stakeholders, like the government, business owners and the company, the local people there were really happy and they expressed their gratitude."

Australia Solomons Gold plans to spend more than 100 million US dollars before mining commences.

It says their first gold production should be in the second quarter of 2009.