Consortium favoured for Solomons’ gold mine

Radio New Zealand

The local owners of the abandoned Gold Ridge mine in Solomon Islands are courting a consortium of companies to help restart operations at the gold mine.

Gold Ridge Community Investments acquired the mine from Australian company St Barbara in April, a year after flash floods forced its closure.

The chairperson of the landowners company, Walton Naezon, says they are looking at taking a different approach to the way the mine has been run in the past.

Mr Naezon says they are hoping to partner with several companies who can specialise in different aspects of the mine operation.

“We have already talked to a few companies. We have made some commitments and agreements with a few companies already on site. They are here already in the country. That is the commitment we need to rebuild the confidence. Those are things that I am working on at the moment with a few investors that I spoke to.”

Walton Naezon says the first order of business is to empty the mine’s dangerously full tailings dam, which has been declared a disaster zone by government authorities.

He says a functioning tailings dam is an integral part of the plan to resurrect the mine.
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