Cowal Gold Mine
Barrick Gold Corporation is the world’s largest gold mining company and owns and operates the Cowal Gold Mine. Development consent for the Cowal Gold Mine was issued by the NSW government in March 1999, following submission of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Study and Development plan.
Prior to the grant of the Development Consent two Commissions of Inquiry (COI) sought public comment and conducted rigorous examinations of the potential environmental impacts of mine construction and operation.
- The major components of the Cowal Gold Mine include:
- An open pit which will measure approximately 100 ha on the surface and 325 m deep;
- A processing plant to extract the gold from the mineral ore;
- Waste rock emplacements which contain mined rock with no commercial quantities of gold;
- Tailings storages which contain the treated and detoxified process residues;
- A lake isolation system to separate mining operations from Lake Cowal over the long term;
- A bore field and pipeline that provides fresh water to the mine site; and
- A 100 km 132 kv electricity transmission line from Temora to Lake Cowal.
(click on the thumbnail image below for a large image)
The COI found that the project could be developed and operated in a manner that was compatible with the environmental values of Lake Cowal. The Cowal Gold Mine was met with some opposition from Environmental groups and organizations. After considerable consultation with these groups, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed and the Lake Cowal Foundation (LCF), a not for profit Environmental Trust was established in June 2000 with the objective of protecting and enhancing the natural environment in the Lake Cowal region. The Lake Cowal Foundation is primarily sponsored through a negotiated royalty from the Cowal Gold Project, for the life of the gold project. During the operational life of the mine, payments exceeding $2 million are expected to be made to the Lake Cowal Foundation.