Solomons' govt: Salvage hampered by ongoing mining

11:06 am on 8 March 2019

The caretaker Solomon Islands government hopes to shut down Kangava Bay to all activity apart from the clean up and salvage following the oil spill disaster.

MV Solomons Trader

MV Solomons Trader Photo: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia

The MV Solomon Trader was blown on to a reef off the Rennell Island bay a month ago and it has spilt about 100 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.

Caretaker Prime Minister Rick Hou told media the mining company Bintan Mining Solomon Islands wanted to continue mining and loading incoming vessels.

He said chiefs on the island also wanted their people to continue to work so they can earn money for food.

But Mr Hou said restricting activity on the bay would bring significant benefits to the recovery operation.

"The salvage operations can run unabated and the risks to salvaging personnel is minimised. Reduced movement of crafts will enhance a faster clearance of the oil spill from the bay area.

"A rapid assessment is undertaken on the oil spill and the marine environment, as well as the impact of the bauxite ore on the loading zone and coral reefs, and a fuller assessment of the health impacts of the oil fumes on surrounding communities."

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