Gold Ridge tailings treatment underway in the Solomon Islands

NEW owners of Gold Ridge Mine, Gold Ridge Community Investment Limited (GCIL) in the Solomon Islands, has taken steps to treat and drain the most talked about Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) that has posed environmental and health risks to people in the area since St Barbra left the site.

Work to treat the dam, which has not been treated or drained since St Barbra left Gold Ridge last year, is underway, a visit to the site yesterday confirmed.

Site supervisor for Remote Water Treatment System, Bobin Hunter said, to lower the existing level of the dam down to required safety level which is one metre, it will require 90 days of continuing pumping of treated water to reach the one meter level.

He said the water on the top is safer to pump into the river system, but then treatment is paramount before any draining of the water could take place as safety is very important.

He said the materials that will be used for the treatment plant is currently in the country now awaiting clearance from the Customs.

“Once the materials get here it should be six to eight weeks and then the treatment plan is ready to go,” he said.

According to the chairman of tGCIL Walton Naezon, the dam, which is about six metres deep with a perimeter of about 12 kilometres was lucky not to overflow, thanks to the dry session that has keeping the water level down.

Mr Naezon said the work to treat and drain the dam is about 60% complete, adding when it is 100% complete de-watering will take place to make way for new investors. Source: Solomon Star
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