The local owners of Solomon Islands Gold Ridge gold mine have begun the dewatering process at the mine's overfull tailings dam.
This comes several months after a water treatment plant was installed for the purpose which is deemed an important step towards restarting the mine operation.
The chairperson of Gold Ridge Community Investments Ltd, Walton Naezon, said a series of lab tests found the treated water surpassed WHO standards for safe water and saw them awarded a licence to begin draining the dam.
"And our licencse is to dewater about 540 thousand cubic meters of water. And we will do 12 thousand cubic meters a day at about 500 cubic metres an hour. So that is the licence we got and we have started and we hope to go for the next three months."
Work towards reopening the project appears to be finally gaining momentum.
Walton Naezon said the next three months would also see structural and engineering assessments carried out at the mine complex in preparation for reconstruction work to begin.
In December, Gold Ridge Community Investments Limited signed an agreement with Australia-based Chinese company AXF Group to take on operation of the mine.
Mr Naezon signalled that things were finally moving forward and said he was looking forward to a meeting with AXF Group.
"I think the government is doing a lot of good things," said Mr Naezon.
"I think they are helping the process and their policy is pretty clear and we are ready to go ahead and get this partner across in the next month and finalise the joint venture agreement and shareholder arrangement and then we will start developing the project."