Ban­jima tra­di­tional own­ers, Rio reach deal

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

An agree­ment en­sur­ing devel­op­ment con­sent on Ban­jima coun­try has been fi­nalised be­tween tra­di­tional own­ers and Rio Tinto after 10 years of ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The par­tic­i­pa­tion agree­ment be­tween the iron ore miner and Ban­jima Na­tive Ti­tle Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion passed on Novem­ber 1 and cov­ers about 67,000sqkm.

The agree­ment pro­vides Rio Tinto with con­sents to all cur­rent and fu­ture ex­plo­ration, in­fras­truc­ture and min­ing within Ban­jima’s Claim bound­ary while also sup­port­ing cul­tural, com­mu­nity and com­mer­cial devel­op­ment ac­tiv­ity for the Ban­jima peo­ple.

Rio Tinto iron ore chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Sal­is­bury said the mile­stone re­flected a com­mit­ment to the Pil­bara’s Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

“This is our 10th agree­ment in the Pil­bara and we are ex­tremely proud to com­mence our for­mal agree­ment with Ban­jima tra­di­tional own­ers,” he said.

“Our re­la­tion­ships with Pil­bara tra­di­tional own­ers are in­te­gral to our priv­i­lege to op­er­ate and I am proud to say we have now signed agree­ments with all na­tive ti­tle claim groups who hold in­ter­ests in ar­eas of the Pil­bara we op­er­ate in.”

Ban­jima Na­tive Ti­tle Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chair­man Slim Parker said the agree­ment had re­quired a sig­nif­i­cant amount of ef­fort from both par­ties.

Mr Parker said the agree­ment would en­able the Ban­jima peo­ple to build a mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ship with Rio Tinto.

Ban­jima coun­try stretches from Wit­tenoom and Tom Price to New­man and in­cludes Kar­i­jini National Park, as well as Rio Tinto min­ing as­sets.

Pic­ture: Bill Hatto

Slim Parker from the Ban­jima Na­tive Ti­tle Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion.

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