16 May 2014

Solomons gold mine to re-open soon

1:39 pm on 16 May 2014

The head of a Solomon Islands government body overseeing the shut down Gold Ridge Mine says its concerns are being sorted and the mine should re-open shortly.

The mine, owned by Australian firm St Barbara, was shut down by the flooding on Guadalcanal six weeks ago and all foreign staff were flown out of the country.

The Government has since stopped those staff from returning and has been ensuring security at the site and brought in a United Nations group to assess the stability of the tailings dam.

The Government Working Group's Phillip Tagini says they have been given up to 90 days to assess the state of the mine and despite the ban on St Barbara's key staff, it is talking with the company on a daily basis.

He says the group expects to give an all clear soon.

"Everybody is interested in having a mine that is profitable, has environmental safeguards and is discharging its social licence and business people safeguard protocols. We just want to make sure all of those things are in place."

The UN team says the tailings dam needs to be closely monitored and carefully drained.

Mr Tagini says the generally fine weather in Guadalcanal in recent weeks has helped.