Timbarra Gold Mine

Timbarra Gold Mine

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Timbarra Gold Mine

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The Timbarra Gold Mine was a highly controversial gold mine located on the Timbarra Plateau, at the head waters of the Clarence River, near Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia. The gold ore body consisted of a greisen type granite. The protracted controversy attracted national and international attention, and catalysed an anti-cyanide extraction campaign in Australia.

Mine history

The mine was initially developed in the late 1990s by a medium-sized mining company, Ross Mining. After six months the mine went into "care and maintenance", and never re-opened. Delta Gold acquired the mine through a take-over of Ross Mining. Eventually the mine was acquired by Placer Dome who were in turn taken over in 2006 by Barrick Gold.

Placer Dome undertook an intensive rehabilitation programme at the mine site, setting new standards for mining rehabilitation in New South Wales.


Timbarra Gold Mine was subject to intensive protest for several reasons:
  • The perceived risk of pollution to the Clarence River, especially from the use of the Cyanide process.
  • High diversity of threatened species, including rare frogs, on the site.
  • Disturbance to an Aboriginal site.
  • Unsuitable site for heap-leach cyanide mining due to wetland conditions and high rainfall.

Ross Mining countered the criticism with arguments in favour of the mine:
  • Mine......
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