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Rees urged to ensure no Lake Cowal mine delays

ABC Riverina NSW
February 19th, 2009

Bland Shire Council will ask the New South Wales Premier to intervene to ensure no delay on the planned expansion of the Lake Cowal Gold Mine.

Barrick Gold has been told it has to lodge a new application on its proposal to almost double the life and size of the mine.

The company had hoped to start work on the expansion next month.

Mayor Tony Lord says council passed an urgency motion this week to write to the Premier Nathan Rees.

"We will be saying we will be supporting the development application, the modification in that and could he refer it to the Department of Planning. It is not unique to have a Premier intervene on the Lake Cowal Gold Mine," he said.

The last intervention in the 1990s saw former premier Bob Carr veto the mine development, citing concerns about bird deaths from cyanide in the waste ponds.

The expansion means 40 new jobs for the West Wyalong area at a time of economic downturn.

Councillor Lord says he hopes the Premier can help.

"That motion came from one of the councillors as a matter of urgent business that we write expressing, suggesting council's support for the development modification and we are doing so," he said.

"We're probably worried about the possibility of any delays. However, Barrick are going to appeal that decision."

A Barrick Gold spokesman says the company is still reviewing its options for appeal.


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