7 Feb 2011

Threats delay Gold Ridge mine operations in Solomon Islands

2:27 pm on 7 February 2011

Plans for the first gold pour by the Gold Ridge Mine in Solomon Islands may be delayed after threats from Central Guadalcanal landowners.

The Solomon Star reports the pour next month may be held up by issues which the government and Allied Gold, the company which operates the mine, have yet to address.

The council of landowners say the issues include compensation payments for loss of timber trees, review of land rentals, a scholarship scheme, a royalty increase, and transfer of land title.

After taking over the mining company last year, Allied Gold held a reconciliation ceremony with the communities in the area.

That followed the destruction of the mine almost a decade ago by militants, many of whom were local landowners.

Last week the company said its 150 million US dollar redevelopment of the mine was on schedule to commission its first gold bar in the coming weeks.