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Argyle Diamonds Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
|Date:||8 April 2005|
|Sub Category:||Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act)|
|Location:||South-west of Kununurra, Western Australia, Australia|
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|The ILUA is located approximately 100 kilometres south west of Kununurra and lies within the Shire of Wyndham-East Kimberley and the Wunan Regional Council. The ILUA covers and area of about 797.5 square kilometres and comprises those Argyle Diamonds interests granted at the commencement date. The ILUA includes the land and waters in - the Grazing Lease (meaning Grazing Lease 3116/8547), - Mining Lease 259SA granted under the Mining Act pursuant to the Diamond Act, - Mining Leases 80/42, 80/43, 80/45 and 80/114 granted under the Mining Act and - Miscellaneous Licences 80/41, 80/11, 80/24 and 80/26 granted under the Mining Act. However, the portion of Mining Lease 80/42 which is within the area of land and waters subject to a native title determination in the State of Western Australia v Ward (WAG6001/1995) is excluded from the ILUA.|
|Legal Status:||Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal|
|Legal Reference:||National Native Title Tribunal File No.:WI2002/003|
|Subject Matter:||Compensation | Future Act | Mining and Minerals | Native Title | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests|
|The Argyle Diamond Mine Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) is the product of almost thee years of negotiation between Traditional Owners, the Kimberley Land Council and Argyle Diamonds. The ILUA provides the support of the Traditional Owners for Argyle's current and future mining operations, including the development of underground operations. The ILUA also recognises Indigenous interests and directs resources toward community and economic development.|
As Argyle held existing mining titles, an ILUA was not legally required. However, the signing of the ILUA creates a partnership arrangement for the future of the mine, and for community development.
The ILUA was made in conjunction with a Management Plan Agreement which details day-to-day activities at the site.
The ILUA supersedes the 20 year old 'Good Neighbour Agreement' between Argyle/Ashton Joint Venture and Traditional Owners.
|The Agreement Process|
The ILUA resulted from a structured negotiation process. This included
- signing of a Memorandum of Understanding detailing principles and timetables
- ethnographic and genealogical studies of the area
- the execution of interim heritage protection agreements
- the execution of a Framework Agreement
- the execution of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement
The process also included learning of traditional culture and of mining operations, and interpreters were provided at major meetings.
Details of the ILUA
The ILUA addresses the doing of Future Acts, the relationship between native title and other rights, and compensation. The ILUA states that '[t]he intention of Argyle and the [Traditional Owners] in entering this agreement, is to renew and refresh the relationship between Argyle and the [Traditional Owners], and to provide a transparent basis for that relationship to continue for the life of the Argyle Operations' (ILUA, p 7).
Activities authorised by the ILUA
In particular, the parties consent to, support and will not object to Argyle conducting mining operations. This includes:
- Open Pit Mining Exploration
- Exploratory Decline
- Underground Mining
- Future Mining Activities
- Granting or renewal of Argyle Interests.
Consent to these activities is conditional on Argyle acting according to the law, the ILUA and the Management Plans.
Under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), any activity, such as a grant of land, that may affect native title rights is defined as a "future act" and must comply with the future act provisions of the act in order to be valid. The parties agree that the above activities are "future acts". However, the parties also agree the right to negotiate provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) do not apply, as the alternative consultation provisions are to be followed instead.
The Grazing Lease
One of the activities authorised by the ILUA is the grant of the 'Replacement Lease'. This refers to a grazing lease granted to Argyle. The ILUA deals with the surrender and grant of a replacement lease, which is to be held on trust by Argyle for the Traditional Owners until the completion of mining operations. The ILUA also provides a mechanism for the recognition of native title rights over that grazing area.
Compensation and benefits
The parties agree that no compensation will be paid by Argyle, but that Argyle will pay benefits as described in the ILUA.
Argyle will pay benefits into two trusts:
1) A charitable trust that secures funds for future generations and provides funds for law and culture, education and training and community development partnerships.
2) A discretionary trust that provides benefits to the Traditional Owners for the ILUA area.
The ILUA provides additional detail about the making of the ILUA. The final agreement includes
- List of people who worked on the agreement
- Key Events
- Heritage Protection activities
- Information exchanged between the parties
- Funding arrangements
- Signed Memorandum of Understanding
- Signed Framework Agreement
- Argyle Participation Agreement Heads of Agreement
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