23 Mar 2010

Solomons mine operators speaks of benefits to local community

5:14 pm on 23 March 2010

The Australian owners of a gold mine that's being relaunched in Solomon Islands say the benefits should trickle through to the local community.

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 and says the mine company has had to deal with issues arising from the tensions with landowners before the mine could reopen.

She says it's one of the biggest economic projects for the country, with Gold Ridge's chairman, Mark Caruso, estimating more than 25 million US dollars will be paid out to landowners in royalties

"He says he hopes that will make its way down into the community and into the country as a whole. Of course the Australian owners will have their slice of the cake, he just mentioned the amount of money that the landowners will be getting out of this operation."

Dorothy Wickham says Gold Ridge and the landowners have now established a better relationship.