13 Nov 2007

Australia Solomon's Gold remains on target

11:29 am on 13 November 2007

Australia Solomon's Gold says widespread support is helping to ensure the Gold Ridge mine on Guadalcanal re-opens on schedule.

The mine was forced to close down during the ethnic unrest in 2000, but the new owners hope to have it in production by mid 2009.

Stakeholders, including the Government, landowners and the business community are welcoming efforts to rehabilitate the mine, while the company says it is striving to ensure it has less impact on the environment.

But Keith Nielsen, the country manager of Australia Solomon's Gold says there's still a lot of work to do before refurbishment's on the mine can begin by early April next year.

"We're also in the process now of finishing an accommodation village where we can move the contractors in early March/ or April next year for the refurbishment construction. At this stage of the refurbishment programme, we're doing a lot of minor works around the plant, like building new office blocks, putting first aid provisions in and cleaning up."

The mine is expected to provide more than 35-percent of the country's income once it is in full operation.