Barrick Gold’s Lake Cowal mine life extended

Barrick Gold has received approval to extend the life of Lake Cowal mine to 2024.

Barrick Gold has received approval to extend the life of Lake Cowal mine to 2024.

The extension will see mining at the site extended for five years and allow for an additional 0.7 million ounces of gold production.

The mine, located 32 kilometres north of West Wyalong in Central New South Wales, currently produces 297,000 ounces of gold a year at all-in sustaining costs of $746 per ounce.

The site contains 1.8 million ounces of gold.

State government approval means work can now start on features to allow for the increase in production including extensions to the surface area and depth of the existing open pit.

Barrick estimates the economic benefits of the mine extension add up to more than $49 million and said the modification provided job security for the operation’s 385 workers.

The Bland Shire Mayor, Neil Pokoney, welcomed the approval but said the 12-month process had created uncertainty in the region, ABC reported.

"When you have this uncertainty hanging over your head, it certainly isn't something that adds to your ability to attract new business,” Pokoney said.

"I really do hope that somewhere in the background a bureaucrat has received a kick in the backside because it's just gone on and on, and it's really developed into a saga.

"Sadly to say, I think it has perhaps cost our shire possible new investment because of the uncertainty that was created over such a long time."

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.