Foreign Interest In Mining Projects Increasing For Solomon Islands

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Gold, nickel and seafloor prospects attracting overseas attention

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 5, 2012) – Solomon Islands is seeing a rush of interest in mining exploration.

In the 2 years since the re-opening of Solomon's only mine at Gold Ridge on Guadalcanal there has been a surge of interest by explorers.

Central Bank Governor, Denton Rarawa says interest centers on gold, nickel and seafloor deposits.

Eleven new land-based exploration licenses have been issued and 3 offshore licenses.

Mr. Rarawa says big names that have been attracted to Solomons include Sumitomo from Japan and Newmont from the United States.

He says mining is expected to be a significant contributor to the Solomon's economy this year.

Gold Ridge, with more than 1,000 workers, is now one of the biggest employers.

Mr. Rarawa says exploration investment is also significant.

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