11 Aug 2006

Gold company vows to meet Solomons mine demands

2:23 pm on 11 August 2006

The owner of the Solomon Island Gold Ridge mine, Australian Solomon Gold, says it agreed to support local communities with a social infrastructure package, but did not settle on the specifics.

This comes as the Guadacanal provincial premier called on the company to keep its promise and start construction of alternative water sources for people living in the village of Suva.

The chief executive, Ron Douglas, says the agreement states that the company is going to work with the landowners so that the resources can be allocated where they are most needed.

"We are going to commit five million dollars over the next five years with respect to infrastructure. It talks about the fact we are putting in schools, clinics etc, but it does not go down to a tank is going to be provided in the village of Suva."

Mr Douglas says if alternative water sources for the village of Suva are important, then the company will look into the matter.

The mine closed down in 2000 amid the ethnic tension on Guadalcanal, but the new owner is expected to re-open the site by the end of 2007.