Wiradjuri and Supporters Say No to Mine Expansion

From the 10-13 April up to 100 people from around Australia will make the journey to Lake Cowal in central western NSW to support Wiradjuri Traditional Owners in their 10 year campaign against the world largest gold miner.

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 10 April 2009

Wiradjuri and Supporters Say No to Mine Expansion

What: Lake Cowal Gathering: No Expansion! Shut Barrick Gold’s Mine Down!
When: 10-13 April 2009
Where: Lake Cowal, central western New South Wales

From the 10-13 April up to 100 people from around Australia will make the journey to Lake Cowal in central western NSW to support Wiradjuri Traditional Owners in their 10 year campaign against the world largest gold miner.

Canadian owned Barrick Gold Corporation continues to desecrate Lake Cowal with a proposal to expand into the lake bed, doubling the size of the mine and extracting a further 53 million tonnes of ore from the open cut pit.

Neville Chappy Williams, (Mooka/Kalara United Families within the Wiradjuri Nation, Lake Cowal) recently won an injunction restraining the NSW Minister of Planning from determining the E42 Modification Request for the proposed expansion of Barrick Gold's mine in Lake Cowal.

Williams states, “The expansion will add another 11 years to the life of the mine (until 2024). Barrick's water usage would increase to over 5GL per year in what is already a severely drought stricken area.”

In a recent flight over the mine site, Friends of the Earth campaigner, Natalie Lowrey states, “With over three million Australians inside and outside the Murray-Darling Basin that are directly dependent on its water one has to question why a foreign company gets the right to destroy a significant ecological and cultural site and use large amounts of water.”

“Australia’s resource curse - our dependency on extractive industries - has to be urgently revisited as we bear witness to ongoing environmental degradation and socio-economic divisions. Frankly this is not an economically sustainable option for future generations.”

There will also be a solidarity action at the protest camp in support of Ipili community who face ongoing human rights and environmental abuses at Barrick Golds Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea.

Attatched are aerial photos taken on 2 April of Barrick Gold's mine in Lake Cowal. Photos: Conor Ashleigh www.conorashleigh.com. For high res versions please contact Natalie Lowrey 0421 226 200, natalie.lowrey@foe.org.au

For more info:
Neville Chappy Williams, Mooka/Kalara United Families within the Wiradjuri Nation, Lake Cowal
0447 841 560

Natalie Lowrey, National Liaison Officer, Friends of the Earth Australia
0421 226 200

Mia Pepper, campaigner and spokesperson at the Lake Cowal protest camp
0415 380 808

Background:
www.savelakecowal.org
www.protestbarrick.net

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Barrick Gold's Porgera mine, Engan Province, Papua New Guinea
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http://porgeraalliance.net/