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New mine presents economic development opportunities for traditional owners

Posted: Mon, May 28, 2012

Traditional owner Grace Daniels and NLC CEO Kim Hill shake hands with senior executives from Western Desert Resources

Northern Land Council (NLC) Chief Executive Mr Kim Hill says a new mine in the Roper River region will provide significant economic development opportunities to traditional owners. The NLC’s Full Council today endorsed a Native Title agreement between the NLC, native-title holders and Western Desert Resources (WDR) which will allow the Adelaide-based resources company to mine iron-ore from a site in the central area of the old St Vidgeon pastoral station, 60km south of Ngukurr.

Mr Hill said the agreement is wide-ranging, and based on best practice precedents and the experience developed by the NLC in over 35 years of agreement-making.

“Among other things, we have negotiated significant employment opportunities for traditional owners and Aboriginal people,” he said.

“The NLC will work in partnership with WDR in developing employment and training opportunities in connection with the project.”

WDR is currently undertaking environmental assessment work. Mining is expected to commence in the first half of 2013.

It is anticipated the iron-ore will be transported by road to Bing Bong Port in the Gulf of Carpenteria for export.

Mr Hill said the NLC and WDR are progressing negotiations for an agreement to govern the construction of a haul road from the mine site to Bing Bong.

“Both parties, together with traditional owners, are working co-operatively to ensure the proposed route does not damage or affect any sacred sites.”

The NLC’s endorsement is subject to Ministerial approval.

For a PDF version of the media release, click here.