The chief executive of Australian gold mining company, St Barbara, says the new owners of the Gold Ridge mine in Solomon Islands must quickly start pumping water from its tailings dam.
The mine has been shut since floods last year and in May St Barbara sold it for a nominal amount to local landowners' company, Gold Ridge Community Investments Ltd.
The new owner claims the tailings dam is close to overflowing and it is facing a $US29 million dollar environmental disaster.
But St Barbara's chief executive, Bob Vassie, says this is not true.
He says the new owners just need to turn on the switch and start the draining.
"There has been no instance to date and there won't be if they act as they are required to do. They government has instructed them to do it. They have got everything they need. We cannot see any reason why they don't start pumping. The next rain could see some over topping [of the dam] and the new owners will be accountable because it is just so avoidable."