“This investment will see mine production on track to start within 18 months,” a statement issued by the company on Wednesday stated.
“In an unprecedented partnership arrangement, Gold Ridge Community Investment Ltd (GCIL), which comprised the local land owners, owns 10% of Gold Ridge Mining Limited,” the statement added.
AXF Gold Ridge holds the balance of 90%.
The statement said additional capital and technical expertise from the Hong Kong publicly listed new shareholder Wanguo International Mining Group strengthens AXF Gold Ridge.
“New capital will help the Gold Ridge Mine Project reach its full potential.
“Wanguo International Mining Group led by Mingqing Gao has provided technical expertise to the Gold Ridge Mine Project for the past year.
“The strength of the partnership between landowners and AXF Resources, combined with the support from the government, has given Wanguo the confidence to commit as an investor to this project.”
Gold Ridge Mine's principal landowners and community leaders confirmed their continued full support and commitment to the project during consultation.
Landowners agreed that by working together, the recommissioned Gold Ridge Mine would achieve new heights (Yu mi tugeda bae mekem Gold Ridge mine waka gud).
Richard Gu, Managing Director of the AXF Group and Director of AXF Gold Ridge Pty Limited, said:
“I feel humbled and proud that the project has reached this stage.
“I look forward to a long and fruitful development partnership with Gold Ridge Mine landowners, our investor, and the people and government of the Solomon Islands”.
Senior executives from AXF Gold Ridge including Chairman-elect Mingqing Gao, Richard Gu, and Dr Shaun Ren visited the Solomon Islands this week to celebrate the milestone with landowners and government officials.
At a meeting with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, chairman-elect Mr Gao reinforced:
“The reopening of the Gold Ridge Mine will send a strong message to the investment community that the Solomon Islands is open for responsible and transparent mining business”.
Over the next 18 months, the come said the Gold Ridge mine site will undergo a complete refurbishment with infrastructure upgrades to improve site access and the construction of a new power station.
“An independent review of the tailings storage facility will be commissioned to minimise risk to local communities.
“Community relations activities will ramp up with one of the priorities the establishment of socially inclusive engagement mechanisms with landowners and local communities.”