Find Mining expertise in Solomon Islands

The mining industry in Solomon Islands has experienced a turbulent recent history, as all production ceased in 2000 due to civil strife and land ownership disputes. Gold has been an important source of GDP for the country and in 1999 production peaked at 150,000 ounces; the Gold Ridge mine in Guadalcanal was the source of much of this.

Gold Ridge mine was owned jointly by Ross Mining N.L. and Delta Gold Ltd between 1998 and 2000, at which time construction ceased. While the Gold Ridge mine was closed there was some ongoing alluvial gold mining in nearby rivers, and in the Western Province. Following a ten year interim, in 2010 Allied Gold acquired Gold Ridge and subsequently rebuilt the mine. Production was restarted in 2011, bringing with it a dramatic increase in mining investment, as international mining companies sought exploration licences in the hope of discovering further gold, nickel, cobalt and magnesium deposits. At its peak, Gold Ridge contributed approximately 20% to the Gross Domestic Product of the Solomon Islands economy.

In 2012, Australia-based gold mining company St Barbara Ltd acquired the Gold Ridge mine, the only operating mine in the Solomon Islands at this time. However, in April 2014, St Barbara shut down the Gold Ridge mine following flash floods. Other mining activities to currently take place in Solomon Islands include the extraction of bauxite, silver, lead, zinc, nickel and phosphate. Axiom Mining is one of the major players utilising mineral deposits in Solomon Islands. As part of the West Guadalcanal Project, Axiom Mining has carried out exploration of an area of 485 km² in the west of Guadalcanal Island and has discovered deposits of limestone, breccia, carbonate-base metal and quartz-sulphide.

Current employment figures for the extractive industries sector in the Solomon are unavailable.

Mining and Minerals organisations in Solomon Islands
Australian Solomons Gold Limited
Solomon Gold plc