12 Dec 2005

Gold Ridge landowners in Solomon Islands say they want fair share of mine operation

7:54 am on 12 December 2005

The Gold Ridge Landowners Council in Solomon Islands says if the company currently examining the feasibility of re-starting the mine, refuses to compensate them, they will take it to court.

The landowners signed a compensation agreement with the previous mine owners and the new owner, Australian-owned Gold Ridge Mining, says that agreement is still valid.

Should the mine re-open, it could return as much as 77-million US dollars a year and the landowners spokesperson, Whitlam Kikolo, says they just want their fair share.

"This new company refused to accept compensation issue. They said the agreement already stated that the compensation already completed. I think the mining is a good thing but the benefits to the landowners must be fair."

The head of Gold Ridge Mining, Mike Christie says the company is working through a range of issues with the landowners and he is confident they can come to agreement on them.