31 Dec 2014

Solomon Islands Govt has no plan for Gold Ridge overflow

3:07 pm on 31 December 2014

The new Solomon Islands government is yet to take any action over what the owners of the Gold Ridge gold mine say is a serious environmental threat.

Gold Ridge has been closed since it was damaged by flooding in April.

The sun sets over the Port of Honiara in Solomon Islands.

The mine at Gold Ridge has been closed since April. Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins

The mine is owned by Australian company St Barbara, which has warned the mine's tailings dam is in danger of overflowing.

It wants the government to agree to a managed de-watering plan to avoid an uncontrolled flood.

Two weeks ago St Barbara said if a flood happened it could cause significant environmental damage and claim lives.

But the new government of prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has had no comment to make beyond saying it is currently recruiting international consultants to analyse the environmental and technical aspects of the mine.

The government has indicated it wants the mine back in operation and is preparing a new policy on mining while also considering the previous government's plans to buy the mine from St Barbara.

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