MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Government and Opposition vote against mine cyanide ban

Published by MAC on 2004-11-10

Government and Opposition vote against mine cyanide ban

ABC Net

November 10, 2004

The NSW Government and Opposition have both voted not to ban the use of cyanide in the state's mines.

The Greens introduced a bill into Parliament last month to ban the chemical that is to be used at a gold mine at Lake Cowal near West Wyalong.

The bill was unanimously defeated in the Upper House yesterday.

Greens' MLC Lee Rhiannon says the use of cyanide is an environmental disaster waiting to happen and the same company that is completing preliminary works at Lake Cowal has already had a spill at its mine in Western Australia.

Ms Rhiannon says the fight to ban cyanide in the state is not over yet.

"This debate isn't over, in Montana in the USA they have banned the use of cyanide in mining," she said.

"We've seen a spill...associated with the Barrick Gold Company that wants to mine gold at Lake Cowal, that occurred in Western Australia. It's a dangerous product, it should be banned when it comes to mining and the Greens will continue on this issue."

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