PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining giant Rio Tinto this week signed a land-use agreement with the Yindjibarndi Traditional Owners over some 13 000 km2 in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The agreement provides Rio with consents to future exploration, infrastructure and mining on land in which the Yindjibarndi have received a determination or where their claim is still in progress.
The area covered under the land-use agreement included both Rio’s major rail lines and supporting infrastructure, and some deposits scheduled for future development.
"Not only have we secured certainty for the ongoing operations and exploration across the area, but we have also reached an agreement that will deliver substantial benefits to future generations of Yindjibarndi people for decades to come,” said Rio’s iron-ore CEO Andrew Harding.
The agreement would generate financial benefits to support cultural, community and commercial development activity and provide opportunities of intergenerational value for the Yindjibarndi people, as well as lay down a number of commitments and agreed standards, covering how Rio and the Yindjibarndi would work together as partners.
Rio has now signed participation agreements with six native title claim groups in the Pilbara, including the Ngarluma, Kuruma Marthudundera, Puutu Kunti Kurrama & Pinikura, Nyiyaparli, Ngarlawangga and the Yinhawankga Traditional Owners.