The Gold Ridge Community and Landowners Council, GRCLC, has called on Australian miner, St Barbara to return and resume its mining operations in the Solomon Islands.
Council Chairperson, Dick Douglas told SIBC News, while GRCLC is concerned at the manner in which the company has closed its operations without informing them, GRCLC supports St Barbara’s return.
He says the council wants St Barbara to return and carry out remedial and corrective works on the tailings storage facility, mills and other areas which fall under the mining lease, which poses threats to the Gold Ridge people and their environment.
But Mr Douglas says they will not approve or consent to nor negotiate any deal with any new foreign investor for the Gold Ridge mine unless St Barbara is allowed to return.
“We will not approve any consent or negotiate or deal of any new foreign investor if it wants to come to Gold Ridge, unless St Barbara is allowed to return and carry out the works which I’ve mentioned, and St Barbara should also be given an opportunity to decide whether it wants to continue on mining or not, so we have to be frank and flexible in allowing the company to enter the country and talk to us so that we can hear from both sides, the government, the company and the provincial government.”
He adds, his council will set lenient conditions for St Barbara should it decide to return and resume mining operations at the Gold Ridge mine site.
The GRCLC Chair says such conditions are designed to enhance harmonious partnerships between St Barbara and the communities of Gold Ridge.