The Solomon Islands Government has banned 44 expatriate workers of St. Barbara mining company which operated the Gold Ridge Mine from re-entering the country.
The Director of Immigration enforced the restriction on the workers who are mostly managers and executive officers of the company on April 18.
The Government’s Communication Unit reports, the restriction is enforced to allow joint agencies investigation by the Labour Division, Immigration, Police, Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Environment into the safety and security at the mine site with regards to chemical wastes, cyanide, explosive hazards and other threats to the environment and human security.
It says the restriction remained enforced unless the Director of Immigration revokes the notice.
The Government’s media department says, all airlines have been informed of the restriction not to airlift any of the listed foreign managers and executive officers on all incoming flights to Solomon Islands.
However, in a separate article to SIBC news today, St. Barbara reiterates, it does not abandon Gold Ridge, and subject to the provision of necessary Solomon Islands Government support, is planning to return and operate the mine.
The company does not understand why the Immigration Division bans a number of their senior managers and has sought clarification from the Government.