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A6 Leadership

In: Business and Management

Submitted By afrasayyad45
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Barrick Gold Australia:
Getting close with local communities and stakeholders in respective countries by ensuring economic growth and social life development was the only way Barrick Gold could enter into profit rich countries. Forecasting indigenous business opportunities and profits the company entered the country by winning hearts of local people.
Barrick Gold initiated its business by entering New South Wales, Australia in 1996. It entered Wiradjuri with its ongoing hope for hi-quantity profits. With its same strategy it entered Lake Cowal which has been a heritage for the local community out there. Lake Cowal basin has been registered as National Estate in Australia’s Directory of Important Wet Lands. Lake Cowal remains dry for more than a six months but gets flooded during rainy season. It has been also a major source of water supply to the communities of Wiradjuri.
The Cowal Lake Gold Project was been first filed for approval to New South Wales Government in 1996. But on basis of environmental grounds the lake project was been refused by the Government. After some political internal initiations during 1999, Lake Cowal Gold Project was been approved right before state elections. With its life for about only thirteen years the project was initiated in year 2006 with full swing as it brought its first gold of about 2.7 million ounce.
Even if the project was been approved by the Government , local stakeholders did complain about tghe company of not maintaining the required environmental safety practices by cutting of trees, put huge water pipes and electricity transmission lines. The trees that were cut were been il-legally used by the company to manufacture artifacts which could help them in more profits. Wiradjuri being a cultural heritage of about four thousand years the local community has been campaigning against the project and the company for about seven years.
The project has been threatening the local community and their social lives by excavating enormous amounts of ground water. Being legally approved to use seventeen million litres of underground water the company has led to a huge environmental crisis to the local people. The ground level water has dropped to such a level that the local landlords faced water shutoff until it rains in next months.
Even after extracting the gold to its limit , the company continued the process to excavate low-grade minimal quality gold ore which required hazardous chemicals like cyanide to rack it out. The amount of cyanide used has been around six thousand metric tons. Transportation of cyanide to Lake Cowal Gold Project has been a dangerous encounter for the community. As the route to take the cyanide passes densely populated areas and various world heritage areas it has been a huge risk. An train accident in 1992 killed three people and brought down fourty metric tons of cyanide polluting the local areas.

Violations by Barrick Gold:
Barrick Gold has been accused of various environmental robust practices, mining-related accidents and safety violatins. In 2004 Government accused the company by finding out large area of dam in Fimiston affected by cyanide and heavy metal contamination In 2005, Barrick Gold was been accused of letting its machines emit about seven metric tons of hazardous mercury. It was also fined $ 25000 for poisonous sulphur-dioxide emissions. Use of unlimited underground water which affected the local communities, land-holders and irrigational suppliers which further completed by initiating intense drought conditions. The company was later accused of illegally cutting down the trees and converting them to personal business profits.
Local Community response to Barrick Gold:
Wiradjuri Traditinal Owners have been having a bitter dispute with New South Wales land and environmental courts. The local community association have been holding their grounds on the protection of Wiradjuri Native Rights and have been accusing both the company and the government to allow Barrick Gold destroy all cultural heritage sites at Lake Cowal. But a wise plan by Barrick Gold helped them continue their business at Lake Cowal by completing an undisclosed agreement with a group named “ Wiradjuri People” formerly known as “ Wiradjuri Condobolin Native Title Claim Group”. The claim applied against the company by the Wiradjuri People group was withdrawn after signing the agreement for an undisclosed financial benefit. The claim on Barrick Gold is still under trial which would lead “Wiradjuri People” group to sue the company and New South Wales Government for ten million dollars which would be enough to make Lake Cowal Gold Project not feasible.

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