28 Feb 2009

Solomons mining company dismisses cyanide leakage allegations

12:18 pm on 28 February 2009

The company hoping to begin producing gold from a mine in Solomon Islands within the next two years is dismissing claims that the site is leaking cyanide and that workers have been abused.

Former workers who are union members have provided photographs of what they say is leaking poison and have also lodged claims of assault and intimidation by the mining company.

These accusations are among numerous setbacks the Australian Solomon's Gold company has experienced since reviving its operations in the country in 2007.

But a director says those responsible are a group of disgruntled former employees dismissed for breaking company rules.

And John Bovard says although some cyanide remains on the mine site from a former operation, there is no chance that it could leak.

"We have not only our own environmental team we have an international group who comes over and monitors every aspect of the environment, that's leakage from tanks, that's air quality, stream quality...all aspects of the environment are monitored very regularly by these international consultants as well as our own laboratory and you know there's no evidence of any problems across any aspect of the environment."

John Bovard says Australian Solomon's Gold is in discussions with its employees and will be talking to the union.