29 Apr 2014

Australian mine operator mystified by Solomons ban

9:25 am on 29 April 2014

The operators of the Gold Ridge mine on Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands, say their focus is on getting back to the site as soon as possible to begin stabilisation work following the flooding nearly four weeks ago.

Melbourne based St Barbara, which owns the mine, pulled all personnel out soon after the flooding.

The Solomon Islands government then brought in police to guard the site and has since banned, for an undisclosed period, the company's expatriate staff from returning to the country.

The chief executive, Tim Lehaney says they are mystified by the ban and want staff back as soon as possible to start restoring the site.

"Our imperative is to get back on the ground quickly to do the stabilisation work which is the subject of a detailed plan that we had given the Solomon Islands government a couple of weeks ago now and to undertake an assessment of the damage to the mining operation and consequently what it would take to re-start operations there."

St Barbara's chief executive Tim Lehaney.