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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, June 3) – The reopening of gold ridge mine in Central Guadalcanal is expected toward the end of 2007.

Managing Director of Australia Solomon Gold, Mike Christies who has been holding talks with land owners for nearly a year says this after the signing of three agreements between various associations and tribes in the Gold Ridge area last Wednesday night.

"If all goes according to the timing that we've got in mind the approval will be towards the end of this year and commencement of refurbishment and construction early next year and into full production towards the end of next year".

[PIR editor’s note: According to a story by Reuters news service last month, the mine was closed in 2000 after workers were chased from the site by factions of the Solomons’ political instability. ]

Mr. Christie says the three agreements were the final ones for landowners.

He says the next phase would be to complete a feasibility study towards this year.

Mr. Christie says that after the feasibility study is done, the company will raise funds for the project.

He says that in the meantime, the Australia Solomon Gold is in the process of raising its equity in the equity market to continue the refurbishment and development work at Gold ridge before actual work begins.

The negotiations have been centered around the relocation of people to a new site, infrastructure development for landowners and compensation.

June 6, 2006


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