4 Nov 2013

Solomons environment ministry to test mine water daily

5:04 pm on 4 November 2013

The environment minister in Solomon Islands says he understands river water downstream of the Gold Ridge mine tailings dam will be tested every day for the next six months.

The ministry has given the mining company a six month licence to discharge water from the dam after it has gone through a treatment plant and Bradley Tovosia opened the new facility just over a week ago.

The opening follows ongoing accusations from communities downstream of the tailings dam that the company is poisoning the river.

But Mr Tovosia says the water treatment facility meets all environmental criteria.

"That's our obligation as ministry of environment, we did the testing every day to make sure the water is safe and I think the people - the downstream association - I think they're happy with the ministry currently with what we are doing."

Bradley Tovosia says he will not drink water released from the dam but that does not mean it is not safe for local people.