Pit removal exercise progresses - Solomon Star News

Pit removal exercise progresses

01 December 2020
Workers removing one of the illegally built makeshift huts.

THE Gold Ridge Mine Pit removal exercise which is part of the recommissioning process of the country’s only gold mine in Central Guadalcanal is progressing well. 

A statement from Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) said the removal of illegal settlers in the mining leased areas especially in the mining pits has recommenced in early October after it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The company statement said the pit removal exercise is an integral activity and prerequisite to enable the company to start its mining activities in the pits.

The statement said the removal of illegal miners from the mining pits within the mining leased areas is a well-coordinated approach, involving chiefs, tribal leaders, and other community leaders. 

The statement said community awareness for Pits 3 and 4 has been completed and now in the dismantling phase in Pit 3. 

More than 35 people are involved in the exercise including GRML, GCIL, Ministry of Mines, RSIPF, Guadalcanal Province officers, chiefs, and community youths. 

The statement added work is progressing well although there are a number of issues the team encountered. 

“Yes we have encountered a few issues but the company is addressing these issues through immediate, medium, and long-term plans. 

“The GRML community relations team and the management are addressing case by case, however, settlers must move out,” team leader Robert Pepeo said in the company statement. 

“Rain has caused some disturbances but this will not stop us from accomplishing our task according to our timeline.”

The Pit removal exercise is expected to be completed before Christmas.