The Department of Environment has licensed Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) to release untreated water from its tailings dam.
This is to reduce potential danger posed by uncontrolled spills of contaminated water in heavy rains.
Environment Director Joe Horokou said, he has instructed the company to drain surface water in a controlled manner following advice from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) environmental experts.
Mr Horokou said government Health, Mines and National Disaster officials have held consultation with more than 40 downstream communities last week explaining this action is urgent as the water level is dangerous high.
He said any more heavy down pour could force contaminated water spillway where the toxic tailings are very close to the surface.
He adds, the dam’s surface water is safe according to WHO guidelines for usage and will cause no danger to our citizens and the aquatic environment.