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Elder backs mine cyanide ban

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 21 October 2004

Wiradjuri elder Neville Williams says he supports the New South Wales Greens' call for a ban on the use of cyanide in the state's gold and silver mines.

The Greens introduced a Bill into Parliament this week proposing a total ban on the chemical, which will be used in leach mining at Lake Cowal near West Wyalong on the state's central western slopes.

Mr Williams has been fighting against the development of the mine for years, with legal claims he is the site's traditional owner and challenges in the Land and Environment Court.

He says the Greens are right to fear the use of cyanide in mining.

"[The] Lake Cowal mining project is a disaster just waiting to happen where the NSW Government has consented to a cyanide leaching gold mine, in the centre of the Murray Darling Basin and it's in the water catchment area of the Lachlan River, and it's in one of the largest wetlands in NSW," he said.

Mr Williams and his supporters will head to Lake Cowal tomorrow for a traditional smoking ceremony and peaceful protest.

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