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Co-operation Agreement between Malachite Resources NL and the United Githabul Tribal Nation Aboriginal Corporation
|Date:||26 February 2007|
|Sub Category:||Indigenous Partnership|
|Location:||Tooloom region, New South Wales, Australia|
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|Malachite Resources holds Exploration Licence EL6263, between Mt Amy and the Lunatic Area, which incorporates its mining leases ML1237, ML1238 and ML1385. It also holds EL6701, to the south-east of EL6263.|
|Subject Matter:||Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Employment and Training | Mining and Minerals|
|The Co-operation Agreement between Malachite Resources NL and the United Githabul Tribal Nation Aboriginal Corporation ('the Co-operation Agreement') was signed by a representative of each of the parties on 26 February 2007. It follows from the Memorandum of Understanding between Malachite Resources NL and the Githabul People ('the MOU'), signed in 2004.|
The Co-operation Agreement records the parties' consensus regarding:
'(i) opportunities for long term employment of Githabul people,
(ii) commercial opportunities for Githabul people as contractors or service providers,
(iii) Githabul cultural heritage protection,
(iv) respect for Githabul values and culture, and
(v) acknowledgement that the land on which Malachite is operating is part of traditional Githabul Country.'
The new agreement makes more specific reference to the effect of any future joint venture on the agreement. If a mine is established, it is expected that another agreement will be entered into by Malachite, any joint venture parties, and the Githabul people. The Co-operation Agreement aims to anticipate some of the issues that would arise in that situation.
The Co-operation Agreement also refers to a separate agreement between Malachite and Newmont Australia Ltd, signed in June 2006, whereby Newmont may gain an interest from the mining tenements in return for funding exploration. If Newmont earns this interest, it is agreed that Newmont will become a party to the Co-operation Agreement.
There are other differences between the 2004 MOU and the 2007 Co-operation Agreement. The latter:
The Co-operation Agreement includes an acknowledgement of the Githabuls' cultural and heritage ties to land in the Tooloom region, including land that is the subject of registered native title claim no. NC95/11.
Malachite agrees to:
• make its employees and contractors aware of the need to protect Githabul cultural heritage;
• preserve, protect and follow best practice principles in relation to indigenous cultural heritage;
• contract with a representative of the Githabul people, or other qualified person, to conduct an indigenous cultural heritage survey over certain areas;
• preserve and protect any cultural artefacts located in such a heritage survey (including by suspending operations until identified artefacts have been removed for safe-keeping or other arrangements have been made);
• minimise the impact of exploration operations on the land surface and to undertake rehabilitation of disturbed land;
• if essential work requires the disturbance of significant sites, negotiate to determine an appropriate basis for undertaking such work.
Employment opportunities and economic development
The Co-operation Agreement states that '[t]he Githabuls wish to ensure that Githabul people are given the opportunity to derive economic benefits from both the exploration activities and any ensuing mining operation.'
Malachite agrees, wherever it is feasible, to fill vacancies in its Tooloom workforce with skilled and competent Githabul workers. The workers will be employed on terms and conditions consistent with the relevant position and they will be expected to work diligently and responsibly. Malachite is to provide training for those employees where relevant. Specifically, the parties are to jointly look for opportunities regarding
(a) training and development;
(b) career planning; and
(c) supporting employment prospects for Githabul people who pursue further education.
Where Malachite seeks independent contracting services, it will give preference to a Githabul tender, all other things being equal.
Mining development and operation
It is anticipated that the parties, as well as any future joint venture party, would agree to negotiate a new and more comprehensive agreement before the development and operation of a mine. This would include agreement as to cultural heritage, native title rights and economic benefits for the Githabul people. The latter would vary according to whether the land on which the mine is located is native title land, freehold land or another type of land tenure.
For land that is not directly part of any mine, it is expected that the principles of this Co-operation Agreement would continue to apply.
If Malachite wishes to undertake work on land within its exploration licences on which native title may still exist, then it will follow the procedures under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) in consultation and cooperation with the Githabul people.
The Co-operation Agreement also specifies that Malachite will support Githabul people realising their native title rights.
Malachite is to cooperate with and assist Githabul people in terms of economic development, by providing employment opportunities and making appropriate donations in cash or in kind to the Githabul community. The Githabul people will cooperate with and assist Malachite in the exploration and evaluation of ore deposit discoveries and to realise the expeditious, efficient and mutually beneficial economic development of such discovery.
|Fassifern Guardian (21 February 2007) Aborigines in new Tooloom gold rush|
|Malachite Resources NL and the United Githabul Tribal Nation Aboriginal Corporation (26 February 2007) Co-operation Agreement|
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