7 Nov 2007

Gold Ridge relaunch in Solomons prompts spend-up

11:59 am on 7 November 2007

Australia Solomons Gold estimates spending hundreds of millions of US dollars in Solomon Islands, before mining begins at the Gold Ridge mine.

The country manager of Australia Solomons Gold, Keith Nielsen, says more than 3.5 million dollars is needed to relocate people residing on the Gold Ridge site.

Consultation is continuing with the lands department and the landowners and people of the new relocation site.

Mr Nielsen says with the relocation complete, the first gold production should be in the second quarter of 2009.

He told the SIBC the refurbishment of the mining site with its infrastructure, at a cost of more than $100 million, will take about a year.

He says the gold mining industry is an important revenue earner that will produce 35- percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.