14 May 2014

Flooded Solomons' mine tailings dam a threat

4:49 am on 14 May 2014

A United Nations assessment team has recommended close monitoring and immediate action to lower water levels in a tailings dam for the Gold Ridge gold mine on Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands.

The mine was badly affected in last months flash flooding, when up to a metre of rain fell in the surrounding area.

Production has been shut down since the flooding.

A United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team was sent in 3 weeks ago and says, while it is stable, the dam has extremely high water levels and must be monitored.

It says only by continuous monitoring and controlled lowering of water levels can the threat of an overspill or breach be minimised.

The UN team leader, Emilia Wahlstrom, says there is a need to continuously monitor water levels, dam stability and water quality in order to avoid risks to nearby communities and the environment.