5 Dec 2014

Miner warns of leakage in Solomons

7:10 pm on 5 December 2014

The Australian mining company St Barbara is warning Solomon Island communities living downstream of its closed Gold Ridge Mine to be prepared for possible chemical spill from the mine in the weeks and months ahead.

The call comes after continued delays to a controlled drainage of water levels in the mine's tailings dam, which holds dangerous concentrations of ammonium and cyanide.

The company says a controlled release is unlikely to cause environmental damage.

The company is blaming the Solomon Islands government for failing to carry out community consultations which it agreed to do in October as a prerequisite to approving the controlled draining of the mine.

Gold Ridge has been closed since April.