CYANIDE THREAT - Solomon Star News


06 February 2018
The Gold ridge tailings dam. [File Photo]

Gold Ridge, Metapona communities at risk


The likely high presence of Cyanide in sediments at the nearby areas of Gold Ridge tailing dam in Central Guadalcanal as well as along the Metapona river in Guadalcanal Plains is putting communities livelihood at risk.

That's according to a local scholar, Dickson Boboria who has done extensive research around the area for his doctoral paper last year.

Mr Boboria said that whilst he acknowledged the findings by a foreign researcher Dr. Simon Albert  who carried out a research some years back along the Metapona river, whose findings concluded that there was no presence of cyanide in the river system, he said that they don’t realize that sediments along the river had been contaminated with high concentration of cyanide.

“To conclude that there's no presence of cyanide in the river is true; because as soon as sunlight touches water and cyanide, it evaporates into ions.

“But they failed to realise or even test the sediments which is highly contaminated with cyanide.”

He said that the high concentration of cyanide around the tailings dam area and along the Metapona River still poses a risk for people, especially in their gardening activities.

“One thing people need to know about this poisonous chemical is that it used up by plants, which is dangerous for human consumption.

“One can tell of the presence of cyanide in root crops when you see tubers cracking or even rotting whilst still under ground.”

He said that the concentration of cyanide along the Metapona river reduces as it goes down stream to the sea.

“Concentration around the tailing dam area is very high compared to downstream Metapona River as the two rivers Tinahula and Savohula further weakens it.”

With his invented method to analyse the cyanide presence in sediments, he said that he was shocked to note the concentration in the soil where people continue to plant food.

He recommended that the government needs to carryout full assessments on the sites as peoples livelihood are at stake.

“People must not do gardening around the tailings dam area as well as along the Metapona river.”

Mr. Boboria concluded that the only method needed to remove cyanide from the tailing dam is to do aeration to the whole dam, which means more oxygen needed to be pumped inside the dam to neutralize it.

Cyanide was the chemical used by Adolf Hitler to exterminate 6 million Jews during the Nazi war.