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 The Juice Media

The Juice Media

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Lake Cowal: Wiradjuri vs Barrick Gold

Izzy Brown, a friend of The Juice Media, produced this mini-doco in 2004 with more Juicy information on the Save Lake Cowal campaign. It is an educational recent historical perspective for your intellectual refreshment. For more of Izzy’s awesome videos and music please visit:

Lake Cowal is situated 47km north-east of West Wyalong, central western New South Wales and is the biggest inland lake in the state. It is protected under two international agreements on migratory birds with Japan (JAMBA) and China (CAMBA), it is also listed on the national heritage register as a significant wetland, and home to many native and endangered species. Lake Cowal is an ephemeral lake that floods into the Lachlan river catchments which leads to the Murrumbidgie and Murray Rivers. Canadian Gold mining company Barrick has proposed to mine at Lake Cowal using cyanide and lethal chemicals. This mine will be an open cut mine 1km long, 325m deep (the height of Centre Point Tower) and 825m wide on the very edge of the lake. The low-grade ore that is dug up is sprayed with a cyanide solution that leaches out tiny gold flecks; the waste cyanide is then transported through pipes to tailings dams 3.5km from the Lake. The dams are left open so that cyanide can break down. There are close to a hundred toxic chemicals that are breakdown products of cyanide, there are also heavy metals that remain from this process which are a threat to health. One teaspoon of a 2% solution can kill an adult human. Activists travelled to Lake Cowal in October 2004 to challenge Barrick and act in solidarity with local indigenous people.