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MEDIA RELEASE: Protesters to halt mining operations - unsustainable mining harms Australia

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

Graeme Dunstan, Cyanide Watch and spokesperson at the Lake Cowal protest camp
0407 951 688

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


April 11th, 2009

Concerned citizens have gathered in solidarity with Wiradjuri Traditional Owners of the Lake Cowal area to halt Barrick Gold Corporation’s mine operation in the lake. The campaign to Save Lake Cowal has been running for 10 years, this is the seventh gathering at Lake Cowal to protest the mine.

“We are here to say NO to Barrick Gold’s attempts to expand the mine on our sacred lands” stated Neville Chappy Williams, Traditional Owner, Mooka/Kalara United Families within the Wiradjuri Nation, Lake Cowal.

“We have won the injunction to stop the expansion, now we demand that Barrick close the mine and leave. We have taken this all the way to the United Nations and to Barrick Gold’s shareholders.

“Along with our brothers and sisters in Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, USA, Chile, Argentina and Pakistan we stand united against Barrick Gold’s continuing human rights and environmental abuses at their mine operations.

Graeme Dunstan from Cyanide Watch is protesting at Lake Cowal this easter, “There are currently 50 people here camping at the fence of the mine and there are many more people coming out today.”

“We are all here in support of Wiradjuri who stand at the front line of this struggle against a global mining giant. We are concerned about the cultural and environmental impacts which have been substantiated over and over again.”

“Monash University academic, Dr Gavin Mudd’s report on Peak Minerals states that mining one kilogram of gold takes 691,000 litres of water and 141 kilograms of cyanide. The environmental footprint of mining looks set to substantively increase into the future. This includes higher energy, water and chemicals consumption as well as higher greenhouse emissions.”

The Murray Darling Basin Authority has come out this week stating that Wetlands and floodplain ecosystems across the entire Murray system will continue to be severely impacted by the prolonged dry conditions.

Murray inflows between January and March were the lowest in 117 years.

Recent aerial photos of the mine in Lake Cowal can be seen at: http://www.savelakecowal.org/recent-aerial-photos-barrick-golds-mine-lake-cowal
Please contact Natalie Lowrey for high res versions, natalie.lowrey@foe.org.au, 0421 226 200

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

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