Permanent Secretary Dr Melchior Mataki. Photo credit: SIBC.

Permanent Secretary Dr Melchior Mataki. Photo credit: SIBC.

The Ministry of Environment and Conservation and the National Disaster Management Council will soon issue a licence to the Gold Ridge Mine Limited (GRML) to begin lowering the level of water in the Gold Ridge tailing dam.

The National Disaster Management Council has ordered the Department of Environment and Conservation to work closely with the Gold Ridge Mining Limited and issue the licence which governs the whole de-watering process to the company.

Speaking in a media conference today, Chair of the National Disaster Council Dr Melchoir Mataki said, the GRML has already agreed to all terms and conditions and ready to be issued very soon.

Dr Mataki said the move aims to prevent disaster and reduce danger to the downstream communities.

“The move by the government is designed to avert disaster and reduce the potential danger to downstream communities, so as you may already know the situation there was triggered off by TC Raquel as well as the pre-imposed tropical depressions which brought in a lot of rain and so the dam has actually filled up to levels which have not been seen since the dam has been in operation.”

The National Disaster Council Chair adds the National Government has already spent more than $1.7 million in setting up additional water storage systems at the community levels.

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