10 Mar 2015

UN report urges dewatering of Solomons tailings dam

11:10 am on 10 March 2015

The United Nations and the World Health Organization are calling for the immediate de-watering of a tailings dam at the closed Gold Ridge Mine in Solomon Islands, which is dangerously close to spilling over.

A researcher from the Australian National University, Dr Matthew Allen, visited the dam in January and has recently cited UN and WHO reports from a survey conducted in May last year.

He says they call for immediate action and an end to a standoff between the Solomon Islands Government and Goldridge land owners with the Australian mine owner St Barbara.

"There would still be some risk there would still be some uncertainties but as far as I know, you know the reports make the point very strongly that those risks would be far outweighed by the potential environmental catastrophe that would ensue if the dam wall was to be breached."