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New era for Cowal gold mine

Barrick Gold Corporation has sold the Cowal gold mine to Australian based company, Evolution Mining.

Barrick announced yesterday that it has sold the mine to Evolution Mining for US$550 million with final settlement expected to occur in the third quarter of this year, signaling the end of an era for the Bland Shire and the beginning of what Bland Shire Mayor, Neil Pokoney predicts will be a golden new era for the local community.

Mayor Pokoney said Barrick Gold will leave behind a significant legacy which will be felt throughout the community for generations to come.

Following a three year construction phase, Barrick commenced production at the Cowal gold mine in April, 2006.

“We are indebted to Barrick for the last 12 years,” Mayor Pokoney said.

“They have been fantastic corporate citizens who have supported a range of initiatives and programs which have provided significant benefits to our Shire and the entire region.

“We have been privileged to enjoy an outstanding relationship with Barrick both as a Council and as a community and their contribution will stand forever as an important and positive part of our Shire’s history.

“We are also pleased to welcome Evolution Mining into the Bland Shire and look forward to establishing a similar close working relationship and meeting with their senior management in the coming weeks and months.”

Evolution Mining was created in late 2011 following the merger of Catalpa Resources and Conquest Mining and was recently rated as the best mining employer to work for in Australia.

Evolution currently operates five mines – Cracow, Pajingo, Mt Rawdon and Mt Carlton in Queensland and Edna May in Western Australia - and last month announced the acquisition of the Mungari operations in Kalgoorlie.

With the acquisition of Cowal and Mungari, Evolution expects to increase its annual gold production from 428,000 gold equivalent ounces in 2014-2015 to approximately 800,000 ounces per annum.

In a terrific boost for the community, existing Cowal gold mine staff have been informed that all employees will be retained under Evolution Mining.

“We warmly welcome the decision by the new owners to retain the existing workforce and the stability and confidence it will provide across our community,” Mayor Pokoney said.

“The commitment, skills and hard work of the existing staff have helped Cowal become an industry benchmark and the sensible decision to retain these people will ensure that continues.”