Cyanide Criminals at Work
Barrick Gold's Lake Cowal gold mine
as seen from the air, 9 March 2006
Lake Cowal is an ephemeral lake that fills when the Lachlan River floods. It has been dry for 10 years now but the green of the sedge grass can be seen. The Barrick's bunds (earth walls) can be seen extending out into the Lake bed.
The Lake Cowal mine is to commence gold extraction on 27 March but these photos reveal that the plant is operational and probably in test mode.
The pit for the Lake Cowal mine is planned to be 1 km long, 800 metres wide and 325 metres deep. It down to about 20 metres at present.
One of the tailings dams can be seen to be filling and the other still under construction. These dams are 1.2 km square.
The beautiful serpentine Lachlan River near Condobalin
Here is the infamous Parkes gold mine orginally owned and operated by Norths Ltd the developers of the Lake Cowal mine. An estimated 20,000 birds died from cyanide poisoning on the Norths tailings dams. Norths at first denied then, under media pressure, admitted to a lesser number of bird deaths.
North Parkes has two 2 open cut pits (top two pics above) and a third (lowest pic) which is actually the surface subsidence due to a block caving operation and is designed to look like that: no fault in construction. Looks ugly to me. Three pockmarks on the divine face of creation. Information on the NorthParkes can be found at:
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campaign to protect Lake Cowal
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