7 Nov 2007

Gold mine revival in Solomon Islands welcomed

2:45 pm on 7 November 2007

A government official in Solomon Islands says locals are pleased about the redevelopment of the Gold Ridge mine site in Central Guadalcanal which was closed during the social unrest in 2000.

The Governor General's deputy private secretary Ziza Rawcliffe was part of an official visit to the mine site last week.

The mine is expected to boost the country's revenue when it begins gold exports in 2009.

Mr Rawcliffe says locals support the mine's owner Australia Solomons Gold plan to relocate residents.

"The local people there, the Gold Ridge mining site, they were really excited because when His Excellency went up there, and then assured the people that the operation was going to benefit all the stakeholders, like the government, business owners and the company, the local people there were really happy and they expressed their gratitude."

Australia Solomons Gold estimates to spend more than 100 million US dollars before mining starts, with more than 3.5 million on relocating people.

It says their first gold production should be in the second quarter of 2009.