5 Jun 2006

Australian miner to support locals in Solomons project

3:27 pm on 5 June 2006

The owner of the Solomon Island Gold Ridge mine, Australian Solomon Gold, says it will support local communities with a social infrastructure package of about 1.4 million US dollars.

The mine closed down in 2000 amid the ethnic tension on Guadalcanal but the company hopes to re-open the site by the end of 2007.

Its managing director, Mike Christies, says the social infrastructure package is part of a final agreement signed with landowners last week.

"We are nodding out all the details on that now. But we indicated to the landowners that we would spend upwards of 10 million Solomon dollars over the next 5 years starting when the mine gets the go-ahead for social infrastructure development in the villages. And [it] covers such things as water, sanitation, roads, schools, health and those sorts of basic community needs."

Mr Christies says the agreement also involves a compensation and re-location package.