GUADALCANAL'S ROSS MINING PAYS OUT ROYALTIES

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (October 16, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Gold Ridge Mining Company, which opened on Guadalcanal earlier this year and is the country's only gold and silver mine, has made its first royalty payments to the trustees of the Gold Ridge Royalty Fund.

Interim General Manager Bob Martin, when handing over the check of US$ 53,178 said under the agreements between the company and the national government, 1.2 percent of the gross value of the gold and silver shipped is paid to landowners, and 0.3 percent to the Guadalcanal provincial government.

Mr. Martin says 1.5 percent of the gross value of the gold and silver shipped in August and September, which also totals US$ 53,178, was paid to the national government as export duty.

The Gold Ridge Royalty Fund trustees are comprised of representatives of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Guadalcanal Province and the Landowners Council.

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