Banjima traditional owners, Rio reach deal
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.
Slim Parker from the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation.