Gold Ridge warns of overflow at tailings storage facility
Australian-based gold producer St Barbara has released a notice to shareholders via the Australian Securities Exchange to warn of a likely overflow at its Gold Ridge tailings storage facility in the Solomon Islands.
The announcement, released on behalf of Gold Ridge Mining — a wholly-owned subsidiary of St Barbara — was posted as a warning to local communities of overflow from the facility’s spillway during the wet season. Gold Ridge said the Solomon Islands Government had not given the approvals required to undertake a controlled release of water from facility and called for action to prevent the risk of water overflowing the spillway.
The company has been in discussion with the Solomon Islands Government and its advisors regarding the facility since September 1 when it submitted a dewatering plan for approval. Given the ab- sence to date of any Government approval for dewatering, Gold Ridge says it has been left with no alternative but to issue local advertisements and post warnings to communities.
The water treatment plant at Gold Ridge was destroyed by vandals for a second time this year in August.
Gold Ridge has therefore recommended that the Government approve a controlled release of un- treated water by pumping it directly into the Tinahulu River.
Operations at Gold Ridge were suspended in April because of torrential rainfall and flooding.
The company was unable to resume production because of a number of factors, including the loss of stable bridge access across the Tinahulu River and the continued presence of large numbers of illegal miners camped in the open pit mining areas.