Lapse Of Water Licences Spells Doom At Cowal Gold Project

October 30, 2002

The future of the Lake Cowal Gold project is in question as four bore licences that are needed to provide water to operate the proposed cyanide leach gold mine at Lake Cowal have all lapsed.

"The licences required that work be commenced and completed within three years of the date of the issuance of the licences," said Ruth Rosenhek, spokesperson for the Coalition to Protect Lake Cowal.

"Barrick Gold continues to conduct exploration drilling up to 750 metres deep in the lakebed, however, they have not moved forward with the construction of the bores. "Due to water shortages, there is an embargo (hold) on any further applications for sub-surface water licences in the Upper Lachlan groundwater management area. The Coalition to Protect Lake Cowal has informed the Department of Land & Water Conservation (DLWC) that we do not support trading into or out of embargoed catchments.

"As it says in the Water Management Act, it is the duty of the DLWC to provide for the sustainable and integrated management of the water sources of the State for the benefit of both present and future generations and to to encourage best practice in the management and use of water.

"In this case, each licence permitted the pumping of 15 Mega litres of water per day. With water restrictions sweeping across New South Wales, the Department cannot ignore the huge impact that large scale gold mines such as the Cowal Gold project have on a region's water supply. A short sighted approach will not be tolerated."

For more information contact:

Ruth Rosenhek
Coalition To Protect Lake Cowal
Ph: (02) 66213294
Email: ruthr@ozemail.com.au
PO Box 368, Lismore 2000 NSW