16 Aug 2014

Mining lay-offs impact Solomons locals

8:10 am on 16 August 2014

The Solomon Islands government says the layoff of hundreds of workers at the Gold Ridge mine on Guadalcanal will have a big impact on local employment.

The Australian based company says in a statement more than 400 of its 570 strong Solomon Islands workforce have now lost their jobs.

The mine has not been operating since the beginning of April when flooding put it out of action.

The special secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr Phillip Tagini, says this will definitely knock locals, especially those near the mine site.

"We have had the floods, but prior to that the company has also had some problems in terms of cash flow. But it's come to a situation where it is finding it difficult to continue paying for its workers, in light of the fact that there's not gonna be any mining in the near future, so we can understand the reason for doing so, but at the same time it's going to affect the cashflow that's generally from employment for Goldridge."

Dr Phillip Tagini says if the company does intend to sell the mine, the government wants to be involved in the process.

The company has also removed all its expatriate workers, citing security concerns.

In a statement Gold Ridge says there have been a number of recent serious security incidents which have been growing in frequency and severity.

It says a strong police presence at the mine site is critical.