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Agreement between the Far West Coast Native Title Group and Iluka Resources

Category: Agreement
Date: 18 December 2007
Sub Category:Land Use Agreement
Location:West Coast, South Australia, Australia
The Agreement concerns the Jacinth-Ambrosia deposit, located approximately 200km north-west of Ceduna in South Australia. The Jacinth and Ambrosia deposits contain high quality zircon. The mine will be Iluka Resources' first mineral sands project in South Australia. Production is tentatively scheduled to commence in mid-2010 (Holloway, 2007).
Alternative Names:
  • Far West Coast Native Title Agreement
  • Subject Matter:Economic Development | Education | Employment and Training | Mining and Minerals | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Water
    Summary Information:
    The Agreement between the Far West Coast Native Title Group ('the Native Title Group') and Iluka Resources ('the Agreement') was signed at Ceduna on 18 December 2007. The signing was attended by approximately 80 people, including representatives of the Native Title Group, management of Iluka Resources, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc, the South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources Development, Paul Holloway, and the District Council of Ceduna (see West Coast Sentinel, 2007).

    Detailed Information:
    The negotiation of the Agreement took place over approximately two years (Holloway, 2007).

    Under the Agreement, the traditional owners grant Iluka Resources permission to:
  • proceed with mineral sands mining at the Jacinth-Ambrosia deposit;
  • tap and pipe the underground water supply to the mine; and,
  • construct a sealed road from the Eyre Highway between Nundroo and Yalata to the mine (a distance of 92km).

    Iluka Resources have agreed to:
  • establish a charitable trust for the purposes of improving living standards and enhancing education and employment opportunities for members of the Native Title Group;
  • provide an indigenous art development grant of $30,000 over three years;
  • provide four educational scholarships in 2008 to indigenous students; and,
  • reinstate the mine area upon completion of the mining operation (see West Coast Sentinel, 2007).

    The Agreement acknowledges that the Far West Coast people are the traditional owners of the area and does not extinguish the native title interests held by the Native Title Group.

    Cultural heritage survey requirement

    As at signing, the Agreement remained subject to the carrying out of a final cultural heritage survey of the area. Expected completion of the survey was set for February 2008 (West Coast Sentinel, 2007).
  • Outcomes:
    Commentary by the signatories

    The chairman of the Native Title Group, Mitch Dunnett, described the Agreement as 'common sense' and as a means of ensuring 'that our children have a future, ... better health, better education [and] jobs' (West Coast Sentinel, 2007).

    Managing Director of Iluka Resources, David Robb, has said that '[t]he company is ... pleased to contribute resources and opportunities to the community in terms of employment, training, and other forms of social and economic activity' (West Coast Sentinel, 2007).

    Opposition to the Agreement

    According to a media release from the Kokatha Mula Nation (2007), members of the Kokatha Mula people observed the signing with a silent protest, to indicate that voices were excluded from the negotiation process. Bronwyn Coleman-Sleep, a member of the Kokatha Mula Nation, has stated that the mine will disturb the flora, fauna and soil in the area (ABC News, December 2007). A spokesperson for the Kokatha Mula, Coleman Haseldine, 'said that while there was not yet any mining exploration on Kokatha Mula land, there were agreements being signed for deposits very close to the area and it was only a matter of time before land was taken from the traditional owners' (Port Lincoln Times, 2008). In response to earlier opposition to the mine, a spokesperson for Iluka Resources said that the company 'can only deal with legitimate native title holders, which [do] not include the Kokatha Mula nation', but that 'the company is aware of its concern' (ABC News, August 2007).

    Related Entries

    Organisation
  • Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement Inc
  • Iluka Resources Ltd - Signatory
  • Far West Coast (SA) Working Group - Signatory
  • Kokatha Mula Nation Far West Division Aboriginal Corporation

  • References

    General Reference
    ABC News (12 December 2007) Protest planned over native title mining deal
    ABC News (23 August 2007) Group vows to fight mineral sands project
    Iluka Resources Ltd (2007) Jacinth-Ambrosia, Eucla Basin, South Australia
    Media Release
    Hon Paul Holloway (18 December 2007) Holloway Welcomes Historic Far West Coast Native Title Agreement
    Kokatha Mula Nation Far West Division Aboriginal Corporation (18 December 2007) Kokatha Mula Elders still struggle for their rights, as sign-off happens in Ceduna today
    Newspaper Article
    West Coast Sentinel (21 December 2007) Mine signing
    Port Lincoln Times (2 January 2008) Elders' silent protest at mining agreement

    Glossary

    Land Use Agreement (Australia)

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