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Gold Ridge Mining Ltd raises concerns on storage facility

Staff Reporter | 9:23 PM | |
Senior representatives from Gold Ridge Mining Ltd – in the Solomon Islands – had constructive discussions with the Solomon Islands Government two months ago to further consider the proposed transfer of the mine to the State.
Parent company, St Barbara Ltd said that was aimed to agree remedial action for the Tailings Storage Facility (TSF).
Water levels in the storage facility remained approximately one metre below the spillway and two metres below the main wall.
The Australian firm said while there was agreement at the meeting that the water level in the facility needed to be reduced before the wet season, the mine was yet to receive approval or direction from the government to be able to re-commence de-watering.
Previously approved de-watering was suspended in mid-August due to continuing security incidents against mine employees and property, which prevented the miner from safely continuing to de-water.
The de-watering treatment plant was subsequently damaged by trespassers, and no de-watering has been possible since then.
Results of recent water quality testing were considered at the meeting with the State, and show that arsenic levels in the facility are well below the levels required by the Australian and New Zealand environment and conservation council guidelines for fresh and marine water quality (ANZECC 2000).
With the proposed de-watering, the concentration of arsenic would be diluted immediately upon release to levels below the World Health Organisation guidelines for drinking water.