26 Nov 2015

Solomons goldmine receives water treatment plant

1:15 pm on 26 November 2015

The owners of Solomon Islands Gold Ridge gold mine have been given a brand new water treatment facility by the mine's former Australian owners St Barbara Ltd.

The treatment plant which cost more than US $70,000 will be used to try and safely dewater the mine's full tailings dam in the coming months.

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

The sun sets over the Port of Honiara in Solomon Islands. Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins

Walton Naezon, who is the chairperson of the landowning company, Gold Ridge Community Investments Ltd, says the installation of the water treatment plant is crucial to its aim of resurrecting the mine.

"One of the important tasks that needs to be completed quickly is the tailings dam. We need to dewater the water from the tailings and that will reduce the risk to invest in Gold Ridge mine, Gold Ridge project."

Mr Naezon says the company is in talks with Australian-based Chinese company AXF Group to take on the mine's operation in 2016.

The handover, which took place yesterday, is also St Barbara's final commitment to the local company Gold Ridge Community Investments Ltd and marks the official end of its associations with the project.