Investing in Condo

A partnership between Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) and KBL Mining has seen six new miner’s cabins erected at the Riverview Caravan Park in Condobolin.

• Riverview Caravan Park operators Ally and Mark Baldock, LSC Manager Building Services Alan Townsend, local electrical contractor Jack Taylor and LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns showcase the six newly established miner’s cabins in Condobolin. Inset: Inspecting one of the cabins; and a single cabin. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

A partnership between Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) and KBL Mining has seen six new miner’s cabins erected at the Riverview Caravan Park in Condobolin.

The cabins have been erected on land owned and maintained by Council, but not previously utilised.

KBL has borne the cost of the cabins and LSC has facilitated that investment.

There was a lack of short-term accommodation in town and the cabins will offer alternative living quarters for mining workers, according to LSC Director of Environment and Planning Andrew Johns.

“KBL will now have an influx of workers as they ramp up in their construction phase (Stage 2),” he said.

“Initially the mine was going to build on site, but that would have meant the leaking of thousands of dollars away from Condobolin.

“Another positive is that once the cabins are complete, workers will not take up Caravan Park cabins that could be utilised by tourists.”

The six cabins will be able to accommodate 15 people, and there is also a community room complete with washing machines, drier, television, fridge and a seating area.

Each cabin has three separate bedrooms, which contain a bed, fridge, storage area, reverse cycle air conditioning and an ensuite. A deck area has also been added for extra comfort.

All materials, equipment and tradespeople were sourced locally where possible.

“That was a very important aspect for us [at LSC],” Mr Johns said.

He added workers were expected to behave in a manner that was in accordance with KBL’s strict code of conduct.

“This partnership is a win for the mine and for the community,” he said.

“It proves KBL is committed to Condobolin, and the flow on effects will be positive for the town.”

Lachlan will not be worse off after Cowal sale, says Barrick

By Lara Pearce

Global mining giant Barrick Gold says that the Lachlan Shire community will not lose out when it sells its mining site at Lake Cowal later this year.

A spokesperson for the Canadian-based company has confirmed that their agreement with the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation will be continued under the terms of new ownership.

“The mine’s legal obligations, including its agreement with the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, would remain in effect under a new owner,” said Andy Lloyd, Barrick’s Vice President of Communications.

Barrick provides extensive funding for the Wiradjuri Study Centre and also funds the new Visitor Information Officer there, in return for operating on Wiradjuri land.

“We don’t foresee any negative impact on the local economy as a result of a sale,” Mr Lloyd said. “While Barrick’s strategy is now focused on other regions, the Cowal mine is an excellent performer that many companies would love to own.

“One of Cowal’s strengths is its strong relationships with local communities, something any prospective buyer will surely want to continue.”

Barrick Gold announced its intention to sell the mine in its 2014 report, published in February this year. It is one of several strategies proposed for reducing its debt by $3 billion by the end of the year.

The report states the intention to focus Barrick’s energies on its more profitable mine sites in the United States and Canada.

Compared to its mines, Lake Cowal produces a relatively small quantity of gold – around 268,000 ounces in 2014. This compares to 15.4 million ounces produced at one of their other mines, Goldstrike, in the United States.

This combines with lower operating costs and a slightly higher price for gold (around $760-835 per ounce) to make these American sites much more attractive.

The announcement to sell surprised many, as Barrick recently received permission from the State Government to extend the life of the mine by five years, to 2024, and has since been expanding operations.

Barrick said that the extension to the mine’s lifespan should have economic benefits amounting to more than $49 million.

Kimberely metals announces deal with Yunnan copper

By Dominic Geiger

Kimberley Metals has announced the first six months worth of copper concentrate produced at its Mineral Hill mine, located 50 kilometres north of Condobolin, will be sold to the Chinese based Yunnan Copper Company.

Yunnan Copper is China’s third largest copper producer, largest silver producer and ninth largest gold producer.

Kimberley Metal’s Executive Chairman, Jim Wall, said the sales agreement had been struck on favourable terms.

“The sales deal will cover four to five shipments of 4,000 to 6,000 metric tonnes of copper concentrate to Yunnan Copper’s smelter between August and December this year,” he said.

“The copper concentrate is put in bulk bags of two tonnes each, sent to Dubbo by train, then on to Botany Bay where it is loaded onto a container ship and sent to China.

“Each year new terms of sales will be worked out, and we will attempt to renegotiate for next year.

“There’s a big market out there, but we’re keen to keep this relationship going into the future.

“I think it’s extremely promising we have the first contract away until the end of this concentrate year.”

Mineral Hill mine has only recently begun copper concentrate production, with its second bore mill set to come online in the coming days

Coulton’s Catch-Up


25th July

The presence of mining coal and coal seam gas exploration in the Parkes Electorate has increased in recent years. A large section of my electorate has been identified as containing either coal or coal seam gas resources. While the potential for these resources is enormous, it is essential that this is balanced against the ongoing ability for this area to continue as a major food producer.

The communities of Bellata, Moree, Tooraweenah and Narrabri are facing significant exploration and development in coal seam gas. Many primary producers in these areas have contacted me regarding their concerns about the mining of coal seam gas. There is a lot of uncertainty of the risks associated with mining coal seam gas, especially in terms of agricultural productivity and the potential adverse effects on underground aquifers.

There is much misinformation circulating in these communities, and that combined with a lack of reliable information is adding to growing anxiety.

The Senate Committee for Rural Affairs and Transport is conducting an inquiry into the management of the Murray-Darling Basin and in particular the impact of mining coal seam gas in the Basin.

The inquiry will investigate the economic, social and environmental impact of mining coal seam gas and will focus on the sustainability of water, property rights of landholders, prime agricultural land, associated health impacts and impacts on regional communities.

This inquiry will provide the opportunity for people to raise their concerns and issues directly with the Government through written submissions and also public hearings that will be held by the committee in areas where coal seam gas exploration is taking place.

I have made a submission to the inquiry encouraging the committee to hold public forums in the communities of Narrabri and Tooraweenah. People in these areas have been looking for factual information in order to make reasonable and educated decisions in relation to water management, agriculture and coal seam gas.

I believe it would be useful for this committee to fully investigate any links between mining and coal seam gas activities with any possible adverse effects on underground aquifers. I also believe that an inquiry in these areas would enable the resource companies a forum to explain the extent of their proposed activities as well as giving local farmers an opportunity to voice their concerns.

I would strongly encourage any person that is concerned with the impact of mining coal seam gas to consider preparing a submission to the inquiry. The submissions are not required to be lengthy and I would suggest referring to the terms of reference below as a guide to structuring your submission.

Terms of Reference to address in your submission:

  • The Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee will examine the economic, social and environmental impacts of mining coal seam gas on:
  • the sustainability of water aquifers and future water licensing arrangements;
  • the property rights and values of landholders;
  • the sustainability of prime agricultural land and Australia’s food task;
  • the social and economic benefits or otherwise for regional towns and the effective management of relationships between mining and other interests; and
  • other related matters including health impacts.

Theatre under construction at WPRD

Condobolin will soon have access to a brand new community theatre.

To be built in the Western Plains Regional Development building, the theatre will show recent release films and will have matinees for school holidays.

The theatre room will also double as a display for art and Aboriginal Family History and Conference Centre.

Anne Coffey, Acting Executive Officer of Western Plains Regional Development, said the theatre would be operational in a number of months.

“We have to do a number of fire safety upgrades to the building  before we can operate the theatre,” she said.

“The Lachlan Shire and the Community Building Partnerships have put money into the upgrades and we are just waiting to get these completed.

“The Theatre has been a wonderful example of everyone working together to get a job done.

“Community Building Partnerships, The Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal, Barrick Gold and Lachlan Shire have all contributed so far.

“It’s been a great community project.”


Investors tour Mineral Hill ahead of mine reopening

Chief Operating Officer at Mineral Hill, Stuart Mathews (fourth from right), with a group of Sydney visitors before they embarked on a tour of Parkers Hill underground mine.

By Dominic Geiger

Five planeloads of investors, economists and press were flown from Sydney to Condobolin last Wednesday as part  of Kimberley Metal’s announcement that sections of its Mineral Hill mine site will become operational in a matter of weeks.
The visitors were given a full tour of Mineral Hill including the Parkers Hill underground and Pearse open cut mines.
Chief Operations Officer at Mineral Hill, Stuart Matthews, said the Parkers Hill underground operation would be the first of the two mines to begin production.
“It all depends on geology, (but) Parkers Hill should begin copper production in late June with a commissioning of the processing plant,” he said.
“Pearse open cut, which will provide gold and silver concurrent with copper concentrate, should come online about three quarters of the way through next year.”
Stuart said the mine currently employed approximately 20 full time workers, however by the production start date this number will have increased to 50.
“There will be an additional 18 plus employees working for Pybar mining contractors,” he said.
“80% of the workforce will be based in Condobolin; we’re trying to give employees the ability to live locally so they have a 45 minute drive to and from work each day.”
In addition to the two existing mines, “Kimberley Metals is currently planning an aggressive drilling program to test [other] priority targets” around the Mineral Hill site.
Mayor of the Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, said the opening of the mine was “great news for the company, great news for Condobolin and great news for the shire.”
“We have been meeting with the officials of Kimberley Metals over several years since the mine ceased operations and to now see it reopening is indeed satisfying,” he said.
“It means jobs for locals and investment in our business community.
“The Environmental Impact Statement submitted with the Development Application indicates the mine will generate between $15 and $25 million for the local economy.”

Mining moratorium to make way for better planing

The implementation of the Strategic Regional Land Use Policy demonstrates a new, balanced and far more transparent approach to mining taken by the NSW Government.
NSW Farmers’ President Charles Armstrong has welcomed a moratorium on new exploration licences, which will remain in place for 60 days.
“Imposing a moratorium until a new planning regime is implemented is a clear sign that this Government is taking the concerns of farmers seriously,” Mr Armstrong said.
“The Government has followed through on a pre-election promise to take a responsible and balanced approach to mining exploration in NSW,” Mr Armstrong said.
NSW Farmers’ Mining Taskforce Chair Fiona Simson is pleased the Association’s hard work has paid off.
“The transitional arrangements include a number of measures backed by the Association’s own Framework for Sustainable Development,” Ms Simson said.
“The decision to publicly release all proposals for coal, coal seam gas and petroleum exploration licences will make way for a more transparent application process.
“We’re also pleased to see all applications will have to be accompanied by an Agricultural Impact Statement,” Ms Simson said.
NSW Farmers’ anticipates these two measures will continue once the transitional measures expire, and Regional Strategic Plans are completed.
“This is the start of a long process of mapping out a plan for regional communities which will ensure balanced development, and the sustainability of both farming and mining into the future,” Fiona Simson said.

The Condobolin Argus – 10 years old

With The Condobolin Argus’ 10th birthday nearly upon us, first week of May, it seemed appropriate for a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the issues and events that have been critical in making The Argus the influential and relevant community newspaper it is today.
With so many editions archived in the depths of the Argus library, the task of revisiting important stories and campaigns seemed daunting at first, though with much perseverance, the team at The Argus has managed to compile a fairly concise list of ten achievements it feels have been most relevant to the Lachlan Shire community.
They are (in no particular order):
Joining the battle to keep the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station up and running.
In March 2009, The Argus reported on the NSW Labor Government’s decision to close the Condobolin Agricultural Research Station (CARAS). A surge of public protest culminating in a rally in Condobolin’s main street reversed that decision.
Helping prevent the closure of Target Country in Condobolin.
In January 2003, The Argus confirmed Condobolin Target Country would remain open despite pressure to close the store. The Argus supported the store during the resulting six month trial period through a ‘shop local’ campaign.
Helping to promote the Condobolin skate park project.
The Argus has been supporting the Condobolin skate park project for a number of years. The project is finally becoming a reality with the final draft becoming available for public comment following Lachlan Shire Council Meeting on 20th April.
Supporting the RTA’s ‘Three Shires’ initiative to help reduce the region’s road toll.
This project aims to increase road safety throughout the Lachlan, Forbes and Parkes shires. Part of this project has been the wheelie bin initiative, encouraging children to decorate wheelie bins in an effort to highlight road safety. The Argus played a large role in encouraging people to take part in this project, and now also has a very happy looking bin.
Providing full yet sensitive coverage of breaking news including human tragedies.
For example on the 2nd of December 2005, a ten-seater Piper Chieftain light plane crashed on Neil Baxter’s property ‘Craig End’. Unfortunately, the incident resulted in the loss of several lives and resulted in an Australian Transport Safety Bureau inquiry. The Argus printed continuous coverage of the incident from the crash to release of the inquiry.
Coverage of natural disasters.
The Argus has been instrumental in keeping the community aware of various fires and floods which have affected the region over the past ten years. With the real time news delivery available with the internet, The Argus can now deliver information to readers as soon as natural disasters unfold. This was most recently demonstrated during the floods in Ungarie last month.
Promotion of local tourism initiatives, particularly ‘Utes in the Paddock’.
Owing to the Argus’ commitment to improving tourism in the Lachlan Shire (and perhaps due to the fact our editor is one of the artists) Utes in the Paddock has become a ‘must see’ on any visitor’s to do list. Beginning in 2007, The Utes in the Paddock Project now includes 15 ute artworks and has been nominated for a NSW Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award and People’s Choice Tourist Experience Award.
Coverage of Aboriginal issues and events in the Lachlan Shire.
The Argus has strived to help ‘close the gap’ on Indigenous inequality though a focus on providing fair and unbiased reporting on events and issues important to the Wiradjuri community. The Argus has frequently reported positively on Aboriginal tourism, educational and employment initiatives.
Promotion of major events such as the Condo 750, Tattoo,  Condo B & S and our Australian Idol Shannon Noll.
The Argus has thrown its support behind various community oriented events over its ten year history. This promotion has been in the form of editorials, advertorials and extensive advertising features before, during and after events.
Support of local Charity Organisations
When major charity events and fundraisers happen in the Lachlan Shire, The Argus is always in the thick of the action, lending its promotional power to the event. Various charities and charitable organisations.

Support for Community much more than just words in a newspaper.
Born out of a large gathering of members from right across the community forming the view more could be done to promote our region, The Condobolin Argus actively pursues promotional opportunities in may different ways.
The paper looks to attract staff with high level skills and talents that offer its community additional benefits. One staff member worked tirelessly on submissions and promotion for the Professional Bull Riders event. That event attracting large crowds enhancing business for the local community. Yet another staff member successfully competed the local Show Girl promotion being awarded State Runner Up at the Royal Easter Show, thereby doing a magnificent job of promoting our region.
Focus for The Condobolin Argus is very firmly on assisting local community to promote itself, diligently managing advertisers funds to employ high level skills providing a holistic service. One portfolio sponsored by The Condobolin Argus in this way is that of ‘Community Promotions Officer’.
All of this has only been made possible by your strong support over the past ten years. Thank you for helping us to provide this service to our community.
To help your local community newspaper celebrate its 10th birthday and plan for many more, please drop on by the office at 93 Bathurst Street Condobolin during the first week of May -We’ll have some birthday cake.

Mineral Hill in full staff recruitment mode

Left: Mineral Hill fully refurbished Interstage Screen and structural supports.  Right: Parkers Hill decline. Contributed

By Dominic Geiger
Kimberley Metals has announced it has commenced full staff recruitment operations for its Mineral Hill project.
The company aims to recruit forty new full-time staff in the lead up to the various Mineral Hill operations becoming functional in the middle of the year.
Stuart Mathews, Chief Operating Officer at Kimberley Metals, said not all the applicants for the jobs needed to be highly skilled.
“We’ve got at least 18 positions that don’t require high skill levels,” he said.
“We provide basic training for staff and we have one traineeship underway at the moment with more to come.”
Stuart said although not all staff would be based in Condobolin, the scarcity of housing accommodation in the town presented a problem.
“Some of the positions being offered may be fly in fly out so living conditions may only need to be quite basic,” he said.
“Ideally however, we’re encouraging people to move to Condobolin.”
The company has also announced it is on track to submit an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Pearce Open Cut project to the Lachlan Shire Council by the end of the month.
Kimberley Executive Chairman, Jim Wall, said he was incredibly pleased to see such quick progress at the mine site.
“The team is coming together well and we remain on track for our target of mid-2011 production,” he said.
A statement from the company said once development approvals are in place, “a program will be developed to co-ordinate the stripping of the (Pearce) open cut and upgrading of the carbon-in-leach circuit at the Mineral Hill Plant.”

Mineral Hill welcomes new General Manager

New Mineral Hill General Manger Mick Hanlon and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Mathews visit Condobolin’s Gum Bend Lake.Kimberley Metals has appointed a new General Manager to its mining operation at Mineral Hill.
Mick Hanlon, who comes directly from Wollongong, but has also spent just over three years managing the Tritton Copper mines at Nyngan, said he was excited to once again be working at a mine site in the Central West.
“There’s a lot of opportunity to be had in this region and particularly at Mineral Hill” he said.
“There have been mining operations here for a long time, and I expect they’ll continue much further into the future, especially with the new developments we’re seeing in the mining industry.”
Mick said he was impressed with the work done to date at Mineral Hill but could see that there were several big challenges which needed to be addressed.
“The biggest and most pressing issue is to find professional staff such as geologists, surveyors, environmental coordinators and mining engineers to fill key positions,” he said.
“Unfortunately there are not many people with these qualifications residing in Condobolin at the moment so we’ve had to conduct an Australia wide search.
“Our policy will be to employ as many locals as possible, with those who are already employed by Kimberly Metals making an invaluable contribution to getting the plant refurbished in preparation for the recommencement of operations.
“We’ve also identified issues such as accommodation for staff and electrical infrastructure as potential problems.”
To help alleviate some of the issues associated with staff, Mick said the company had a number of plans.
“There will be opportunities for apprenticeships and traineeships in the near future,” he said.
Mick said he and his wife were looking forward to living in Condobolin and becoming part of the community.

Kidman mine enters second drilling phase

By Dominic Geiger

A second drilling operation will begin at the Blind Calf Copper prospect, which is owned by Kidman Resources Limited, this Thursday 24th February.
The site, which is located approximately 57 kms north-north west of Condobolin, received considerable media attention following the discovery of large amounts of copper during the first drilling operation late last year.
Andrew Buxton, Managing Director for Kidman Resources Limited, said the first drilling project had uncovered copper levels of 1.48% in the first 27 metre interval, which included 18 metres at 2.09% and 5 metres at 3.86%.
“To give you an idea of how good that is, an economical copper operation begins at .5%,” he said.
“We found copper at the end of the samples, so we believe the reserves go much deeper.”
After being floated at 20c, Kidman’s shares sky rocketed to a high of 50c following the first copper discovery.
They are currently hovering around 34c.
The next drilling project will comprise of 14 holes at 200 metres each, totally a 2800 metre operation.
Mr Buxton said this next phase of the operation would “focus on expanding upon the results of phase one, as well as testing other well defined magnetic anomalies that the company had previously identified at Blind Calf using geophysical interpretation.”
“We’ll also be employing anything up to ten people at a time, who stay at the Rabbit Trap Hotel in Albert,” he said.

Mineral Hill to reopen sooner

By Dominic Geiger

The Mineral Hill Mine is set to reopen for production earlier than expected with current predictions stating the mine will be operational sometime this May.
Staff numbers including contractors have been increased by twelve personnel since last August and refurbishments are continuing to be completed faster than expected.
Executive Chairman of Kimberly Metals Jim Wall said an underground ventilation system would be installed in the Parkers Hill deposit sometime this March, further readying the mine for full activation.
“Dual track development at Mineral Hill with simultaneous development of the Pearse open pit gold and silver mine and the Parkers Hill underground copper mine is currently going through council approval,” he said.
“Ore from both mines will be processed at the existing Mineral Hill process plant.
“There’s also a lot of rust and steel work which needs to be replaced.”
Earlier plans for the mine had been based on a step by step development with Pearse gold and silver ore being treated first, over a period of approximately 18 months, and then followed by treatment of the high grade parts of the Parkers Hill deposit.
A reassessment of the Parkers Hill resource and the subsequent development of a mining plan for that deposit has, however, demonstrated that Parkers Hill ore can be available for treatment prior to Pearse ore.
Mr Wall said refurbishments of the processing plant at Mineral Hill were twenty-two percent complete and within budget.

General Manager appointed to Mineral Hill

Kimberley Metals Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Hanlon to the position of General Manager for the Mineral Hill Mine near Condobolin, in central western New South Wales.
Mr Hanlon will assume responsibility for all mine operations and process plant refurbishment work as of 21 February 2010.
Mr Hanlon brings in excess of 20 years of senior management and technical experience in Western Australia and New South Wales and recently he was the resident manager at the Tritton Copper Mine for Straits Resources.
The appointment of General Manager is an important addition to the senior management team at Kimberley Metals as the Parkers Hill Underground and Pearse Open Cut projects at Mineral Hill are advanced to production status.  Mr Hanlon has demonstrated success in previous management roles and strengths in production, processing, community and government liaison, disciplines which Kimberley believe will deliver long term operations success for the Company.
Kimberley is actively recruiting all operations personnel to support commencement of commercial production by mid-2011.

Mineral Hill in production from June

Kimberley Metals Ltd has recently released results of two infill drill holes for the Parkers Hill Underground Project at Mineral Hill 50kms north of Condobolin.
The Parkers Hill deposit is accessed from the main Mineral Hill decline via a drive  approximately 130 meters below the surface.  The three existing development drives within  the ore body provide the opportunity for production to focus on higher grade stopes.
Kimberley has appointed mining contractor Pybar to provide underground mining services at Parkers Hill, with the Pybar team on site since early December 2010 to provide sufficient ore  on stockpile for copper concentrate production in June 2011.
Priority work continues on completion of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  All environmental specialist investigations have been completed and reports received.  The EIS is being expanded to reflect the dual track development of the Parkers Hill underground copperlead-zinc deposit and the Pearse gold-silver open cut.  Submission of the EIS is expected within the next month.  The regulatory timetable for project approvals remains on-track for mid-2011.
Refurbishment and modifications to the existing process plant at Mineral Hill remain on-target for commissioning and production from mid-2011.  Work on the run-of-mine feed bin, primary crusher, and secondary crusher have been completed and electrical upgrade is in progress.  Mechanical works are now focused on the conveyors, screens, fine ore bins has commenced.  Fabrication of new flotation cells has also commenced.  Modifications to the flotation circuit will deliver increased process capacity of up to 250,000 tonnes per annum. Kimberley Metals has recently appointed an experienced  manager for the process plant and has commenced recruitment of all operations staff for Mineral Hill.

Mens Shed gets helping hand from Barrick

Barrick Gold supports Condobolin's Indigenous Men's ShedBy Karen Tooth

Barrick Gold representatives Karen Worthington and Richard Savage were on hand to give a donation to the Condobolin Indigenous Men’s Shed currently under refurbishment.
Richard said, “Having raised most of the money themselves, this is a great opportunity for Barrick Gold to support a project that benefits the local community. We appreciate the amount of work they have already done and what they have put in, and this little bit of a donation will help get it completed.”
Located near the Wiradjuri Study Centre on the old All Sports Grounds, the Men’s Shed will use the funds along with other grants already applied for and received, to complete the upgrade. Volunteers have earned funds through cleaning up at the B & S and PBR as well staffing ‘Movember ‘ at the Imperial Hotel.
Working bees at the Shed have already attracted much support from the local indigenous community with youths aged from 16 up to 70 year olds, including four men from CDRV taking part.
So far the shed has been gutted inside, painted on the outside and tin work and the roof repaired.
It is envisaged that the Shed will become a centre to meet, discuss and run any activities that they are interested in – especially any culturally based arts and crafts such as emu egg carving, didgeridoo making. It is hoped to link up with a welding course at the Condobolin High School as well. The convenient location will make for easy access and with the proximity to the Wiradjuri Study Centre, members will be able to link up with any health services on offer. Trips are already planned along with visits from other Men’s Shed from Queanbeyan and Gosford.
Support person Brian Clemson said, “It is all about whatever the men want to do and what we service providers can help with. And now with Barrick Gold’s help we can finish it.”
The Shed already has donations of a pool table, tables and chairs and they would like some cupboards which they are willing to collect. Contact Jimmy Nolan or Yawarra or Kevin Griffiths at the Court House.
• Pictured above at the Refurbishing of Condobolin’s Mens Shed are: Brian Clemson, Karen Worthington (Barrick Gold), Richard Savage (Barrick Gold), Peter Harris (Weigelli Drug and Alcohol Outreach, Cowra), Kevin Griffiths and Stan Porter (Secretary of the Condobolin Men’s Shed).

Barrick promotes community ties

Community consultative committees are a valuable conduit between the local community and any mine development, but equally important is the part each individual representative has on the committee.
As the independent chair of the Barrick Cowal Community Environment and Consultative Committee (CEMCC) it is very rewarding to be a part of this committee, where each member is a very active participant.
At our December meeting, the committee were joined by the Local Emergency Response personnel from West Wyalong.
This included representatives from NSW Fire, Rural Fire, NSW Ambulance, Area Health and NSW Police.
At the conclusion of the meeting Local Emergency Response personnel and CEMCC members were provided a presentation from Barrick Cowal Emergency Response about emergency response management and associated processes.
The presentation provided valuable information about what measures are in place to address an emergency at the mine site and what the various roles and responsibilities are of the emergency services. – Contributed

‘Barricking’ for defensive drivers

Encouraging the Barrick Cowal Gold Mine ethos of safety CHS students participated in a defensive driving course pictured here with Barrick Cowal Community Relations Officer Karen Worthington, Sergeant Peter Gibson and Motor School Instructor Daryl CullenBy Sally Willoughby
Students from Condobolin High School participated in an advanced driving course sponsored by Barrick Cowal Gold Mine last Thursday and Friday teaching students defensive driving and skills awareness in the theoretical and practical course.
Professional drivers from ‘Motor School’ Daryl Cullen and Ted Looi led students through a range of activities including emergent braking, hazard avoidance and overall road rules.
Barrick Cowal Community Relations Manager Richard Savage said the program was a community safety program initiated by the mine to support young drivers in the community to further develop their driving skills.
“While the course is goodfun for the students they also develop an appreciation that driving a vehicle can be hazardous and knowing how to handle a vehicle in an emergency situation could save their lives,” Richard said.
Condobolin Sergeant Peter Gibson said the course was an important initiative at making young drivers aware of the risks involved with driving and keeping themselves and everyone else on the road safe.
With the 17 to 25 age bracket proving the most dangerous and fatal for drivers on the road, the course also included taking students through exercises showing skid control, road positioning and vehicle inspection, maintenance and driver responsibility.
Barrick Cowal has provided defensive driver training to seventy-nine learner drivers over two years and includes a partnership with Condobolin Police and Road Safety Officers Bruce Barrett and Melanie Suitor who provided information packs for the drivers.

Mineral Hill heading for production

Mineral Hill mine will adopt a dual track approach to the redevelopment of the mine 45 kilometres north-west of Condobolin with the decision aimed to minimise the time to initial production anticipated to be mid-2011.
The directors of Kilmberley Metals Limited who operate the mine site said the dual track approach will simultaneously develop the Pearse open pit gold/silver mine and the Parkers Hill underground copper mine.
KML Chairman Jim Wall said that initial plans were to treat the two sites sequentially starting with the Pearse site and then following with the high grade parts of the Parkers Hill deposit.
“A reassessment of the Parkers Hill resource and the subsequent development of a mining plan for that desposit demonstrates that Parkers Hill ore can be available for treatment prior to Pearse ore.
Ore from both mines will be processed at the existing Mineral Hill process plant.
The mine plan for the Pearse deposit indicates a reserve 52,300 ounces of gold and 542,300 ounces of silver to be mined over an 18 month period.
Production from Parkers Hill is anticipated to be approximately 4,000 tonnes of copper-in-concentrate per annum over a five year mine life.
Mr Wall said there was still considerable potential for the discovery of additional gold and base metals resources at Mineral Hill.
The production plant is currently being refurbished and is anticipated to be completed by May 2011.

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