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IFC Supports Solomon Islands Mining Sector with US$35 million Loan to Gold Ridge Mining

Washington, D.C./Honiara, Solomon Islands, June 24, 2010— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today agreed to provide Gold Ridge Mining Limited a loan of US$35 million to help restart a mine that will provide jobs, government revenues and local community development in the Solomon Islands.
IFC’s loan, together with equity funding from project partner Allied Gold, will be used to rebuild and refurbish plant and mining equipment at the Gold Ridge Mine on the island of Guadalcanal.  The mine, which has been closed since 2000, is scheduled to reopen in March 2011 and will become a major contributor to Solomon Islands economy.  IFC will work with the company to ensure that mine development and operations are carried out in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
“For this type of project IFC is an appropriate partner that is providing our company with a unique combination of applicable financing as well as an extensive environmental and social development resources that we can leverage off,” said Mark Caruso, Allied Gold’s Chairman. “We look forward to drawing on their global mining expertise as we work to ensure the mine follows globally recognized best practices for managing environment and social impacts and working with local communities.”
The Gold Ridge Mine is the largest private sector investment in Solomon Islands and a key part of the Solomon Islands government’s plan for growing the country’s economy.  Solomon Islands has a geology similar to other Pacific Rim countries with successful mining sectors and the potential to establish a robust mining sector that can provide long term economic benefits to the country.
“Helping restart the Gold Ridge Mine is part of IFC’s strategy to promote economic growth in Solomon Islands, said William Bulmer, IFC Global Head for Mining “Through our partnership with Allied Gold we will support the development of a responsible mining sector that has significant economic potential for the Solomon Islands".
Through integrated investment and advisory services, IFC is helping the Solomon Islands’ government to build a sustainable and inclusive private sector to create jobs, raise living standards, and reduce poverty. IFC’s advisory arm in the Solomon Islands is supported by the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Japan and aims to assist the government to improve the business environment.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. IFC fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .