A land access agreement between the Nyiyaparli People in Western Australia’s Pilbara and Greenmount Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of ASX-listed gold explorer and developer Capricorn Metals, was this week hailed as a boon for the traditional land owners.
The Karlawinda Gold Project Land Access Agreement relates to the Karlawinda Gold Project which falls within the Nyiyaparli native title claim area, about 50km south-west of Newman.
Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation represented the Nyiyaparli People in the negotiations.
Economics Consulting Services was engaged to provide an independent economic assessment of the project and proposed native title compensation for the Nyiyaparli People.
YMAC chief executive Simon Hawkins said land access agreements were the basis for a bright future for traditional owners.
“This agreement demonstrates how negotiating in good faith with traditional owners can prove to have a positive outcome for both parties,” he said.
“The fact that agreement was reached within six months shows that when companies and traditional owners work together, negotiations can be concluded in a timely fashion with mutually beneficial outcomes.
“It has far-reaching benefits for the community, not only now, but in the future, enabling Nyiyaparli people to have access to training, employment and contracting opportunities associated with the Karlawinda Gold Project.”
Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation has been appointed as the Nyiyaparli People’s agent under the agreement and will oversee its implementation.
Karlka chairperson Edith Hall said the group was pleased Capricorn Metals listened during negotiations.
“Capricorn Metals has agreed to involve Nyiyaparli people in both cultural heritage and environmental surveys and studies,” she said.
“Our heritage and the environment are very much linked and we as traditional owners want to work with companies like Capricorn Metals to protect our heritage and the environment for future generations.”
The Nyiyaparli People authorised the terms of the agreement at a claim group meeting in Port Hedland on October 28.
YMAC is the native title representative body for native title claims in the Pilbara, Murchison and Gascoyne regions of WA. It covers a representative area of almost one million square kilometres and more than 20 native title claims, all with their own language, culture and traditions.
Capricorn Metals told the ASX late last month the agreement with the Nyiyaparli People allowed for the grant of tenure, project operations and approvals, along with the payment of compensation and other heritage and environmental protocols.
The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum granted the company a 21-year mining lease which covers 2,975 hectares.
The mining lease marked a key milestone towards development of a significant new open pit mine project at Karlawinda, the company said.