Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo on Thursday has assured Members of Parliament that his government will deal with St Barbara which operates the Gold Ridge Mining Limited (GRML) for abandoning the Mine site during recent flash flood in Honiara and Guadalcanal.
Prime Minister Lilo said this when replying to question raised by members of parliament during the sitting in on Thursday.
Mr Lilo told parliament that his gov’t doesn’t know the reason why the company left the site.
“I would like to announce in parliament that my government didn’t know exactly why St Barbra left the site.
“But speculation that I heard was the company can’t able to do some work on the site during the flood and also fear the dewatering on site may collapse.
“But I want to assure the house that I’ll yet meet with them and found out why they abandon the site,” Mr Lilo told the MPs.
He said Government would take this matter very seriously to make sure the company can come back and explain to us why they left the site.
Meanwhile St Barbara’s managing director Tim Lehany has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme that it doesn’t mean operations have ended for good.
“We haven’t walked out on the country, that’s just simply not true, and we’ve not abandoned the mine,” he said.
“We had no choice but to remove our employees from the mine site.”
The Mine recorded 500 millilitres of rainfall in just 24 hours when flooding hit the country last week.
Mr Lehany said the flooding limited access to the mine, making it too dangerous for workers to stay.
“When this started we had 200 people on site, so we completely lost access, the only way in or out was by helicopter and that was restricted due to weather conditions,” he said.
“We had diminishing food and fuel supplies and a large number of people there.
“If anyone was seriously injured we had no way of [doing medivacs].”
By DENVER NEWTER