2 Sep 2011

Solomon Islands mining company offers water project after blockade

1:07 pm on 2 September 2011

The Gold Ridge Mining company in Solomon Islands is offering to invest in a water project for the residents of Turarana to ease concerns over community health.

Earlier this week, residents blocked the mine's access road, claiming activities at Gold Ridge have contaminated the Chovohoi River, leading to health problems.

But the company is rejecting these claims, saying much of the alleged river issues are a result of illegal itinerant gold panning, land clearing activities, and poor sanitation and hygiene.

A spokesman for Gold Ridge says the company is offering to invest in vital infrastructure work including an 18,000 US dollar water and sanitation project and is disappointed Turarana residents have been demanding a cash payment.

The mining company is now asking villagers to appoint a leadership group for further discussions on the matter.