Canadian Gold mining company Barrick has proposed to mine at Lake Cowal using cyanide and lethal chemicals. This mine will be an open cut mine 1km long, 325m deep (the height of Centre Point Tower) and 825m wide on the very edge of the lake. The low-grade ore that is dug up is sprayed with a cyanide solution that leaches out tiny gold flecks; the waste cyanide is then transported through pipes to tailings dams 3.5km from the Lake. The dams are left open so that cyanide can break down. There are close to a hundred toxic chemicals that are breakdown products of cyanide, there are also heavy metals that remain from this process which are a threat to health. One teaspoon of a 2% solution can kill an adult human.
Activists travelled to Lake Cowal in October 2004 to challenge Barrick and act in solidarity with local indigenous people.