29 Mar 2013

Claims that Solomon Islands gold mine operation pollutes river and streams

9:20 am on 29 March 2013

The Solomon Islands parliament has been told a river and streams below the Gold Ridge Mining operations on Central Guadalcanal are polluted and unsafe for human consumption.

The MP for North Guadalcanal, Martin Sopage, told Parliament that villagers along the Metapona River can no longer use the water for drinking, bathing, washing their clothes and fishing.

Mr Sopage says pollution in the river also means the villagers can no longer make their food gardens along the banks.

He says villagers believe the pollution is caused by water flowing from the mine's tailing dam into the river.

The Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has responded by forming an independent assessment team to look at the environmental effects of the mining operation.