23 Mar 2010

Gold Ridge Mine in Solomons reopens

2:35 pm on 23 March 2010

Speakers at the launch of a gold mine that was shut down during the ethnic tensions in Solomon Islands have warned that any disturbance to its operation will affect the country's image in the eye of potential investors.

The Gold Ridge Mine is being reopened by the Australian company, Allied Gold Limited, almost a decade after it was destroyed by militants, many of whom were local landowners.

Our correspondent, Dorothy Wickham, has been at the launch in central Guadalcanal and says the Prime Minister Derek Sikua spoke about how hard it was to establish such a project, but how easy it would be to tear it down.

She says negotiating the reopening of the mine has not been easy for Gold Ridge, and its chairman, Mark Caruso, reminded Solomon Islanders about its importance

"For them to understand that the mine needs to operate and disturbances is not a good thing for the company to be able to operate, and it's not a good thing for investors outside the country to see."