THE Environment and Conservation Division with the support from the National Disaster Management Office is continuing to monitor the Gold Ridge tailings Dam after water level rose to dangerous levels following heavy rainfall in recent weeks.
Latest data collected on site showed that on the 1st April 2021 the level of water at the spillway was recorded at 58.0cm (freeboard) below the highest point of the current spillway and on the 6th of April, the level of water rose by 2cm and reduced the freeboard to 56cm as a result of rainfall.
What is clear is such low freeboard poses an overall elevated risk for the dam, although the spillway is designed to ease water pressure on the main dam wall.
The generally high rainfall for the month of April is worrying because water level at the dam is very sensitive to rainfall and therefore poses a threat to the main dam wall, and elevates the risk of uncontrolled spillage through the spillway.
Goldridge Mining Limited (GRML) has been in possession of license to discharge water from the dam after treatment.
However, they have not been able to do that because the treatment plant needs repair.
GRML has also been consulting with downstream communities and their respective associations on their plans for the safety of the dam.
The ministry will continue to monitor the dam, and liaise with GRML to remedy the risk posed by the high level of water in the dam underpinned by environmental safety, and the safety of our downstream communities and stakeholders.