The stoush between the national government and the operator of Gold Ridge mine is continuing.
The government rejected applications by the operator St Barbara to be allowed to release untreated water from the tailings dam – which contains high levels of arsenic and cyanide.
The mine has been closed since last April’s floods – but St Barbara warns that the dam is at risk of overflowing, which could be detrimental to the nearby environment.
The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Dr Melchior Mataki, says the company’s proposals are insufficient.
He says the water needs to first be treated – and the responsibility and costs should be covered by St Barbara, not the Solomon Islands’ government
But in a recent statement, the Gold Ridge Mining Limited claimed it has done everything in its power to minimise the risk of overflowing and it called on the Government to approve its plans.
Seafloor exploration on
A major seafloor mining exploration voyage is due to get under way in Solomon Islands at the end of the month.
Nautilus Minerals is set to become the first company in the world to start commercial seafloor mining when its operations begin in Papua New Guinea in 2018.
It’s now set to look for copper and gold in massive sulphide deposits around seafloor hot vents in waters off San Cristobel and the Santa Cruz islands.
It will also be doing more exploration in Tonga later in the year.
High speed internet here
Our Telekom has started using O3b Network’s Ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) service for backhaul in the Solomon Islands.
The telco established a new ground station to work with O3b’s Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite network, and is providing Internet services in Honiara.
Our Telekom provides mobile and fixed line services, broadband and television.
The Solomon Islands is comprised of more than 1,000 islands, and the telco has plans to extend its service from O3b beyond the capital to the outer islands.
“The launch of O3b for Our Telekom Internet is the most significant development for the Solomon Islands since the introduction of the Internet here,” said Our Telekom Chief Executive, Loyley Ngira.
“With O3b we have taken the first significant step to overcome the tyranny of distance between the Pacific nations and the rest of the world.”
Public invited for Anzac dawn service
The public is invited to next Saturday’s Anzac Day Centenary Dawn Service at the Cenotaph on Saturday 25 April.
Australian and New Zealand High Commissions are hosting the event.
This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Anzac tradition was born on the shores of Gallipoli in Turkey during the First World War, where the feats of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) forged a legend of courage, mateship and sacrifice.
Each year on 25 April, Australians and New Zealanders pause to reflect on the sacrifice of ‘Anzacs’ who have served in every theatre of war since 1915.
Anzac Day commemorations traditionally begin with dawn services around Australia and New Zealand, and across the world.
All those wishing to attend the Service are requested to be at the Cenotaph, located next to the Central Police Station, by 5:20am. Access is via Mendana Avenue.
MSG trade meeting
A series of meetings on the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Trade Agreement were held in Port Vila, Vanuatu last week.
Officials and representatives from Fiji, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu attended the meeting.
These meetings include:
i) Rules of Origin Workshop on the new Trade Agreement (MSGTA3).
ii) Technical Working Group (TWG) negotiations meeting on the Trade in Goods (TIG) component of the draft MSGTA legal text (MSGTA3), in short referred to as the TWG-MSGTA3-TIG scheduled.
iii) Technical Working Group (TWG) negotiations meeting on the Trade in Services (TIS) component of the draft MSGTA legal text (MSGTA3), in short referred to as the TWG-MSGTA3-TIS.
Trade and Economic Officials Meeting