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Kariyarra Aboriginal firm wins first works package at world's largest bulk export port

Tom Zaunmayr -

Traditional Owners of country home to the world's largest bulk export port are celebrating their first contract win with BHP, one they hope will lead to a long-term relationship.

The Kariyarra people of Marapikurrinya (Port Hedland) and surrounds were this month mobilised to work at BHP Iron Ore's port operations through newly-formed cjoint venture Kariyarra Mining Services.

Minprovise Aboriginal and community engagement manager Raylene Button, one of the joint venture partners, said the work would lead to training and employment opportunities for Kariyarra people.

"This ceremony is about recognition of the Kariyarra people, the JV with Minprovise to form Kariyarra Mining Services, and also the opportunities we have been given through BHP," she said.

"We hope this partnership with BHP, and the joint venture with Minprovise, will result in sustainability and growth and will enable BHP to move forward with future negotiations with the Kariyarra people."

KMS is the enterprise arm of Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation and has been awarded a six-month project to replace handrails at Nelson Point.

A welcome to country and smoking ceremony was hsoted this month to celebrate the new partnership and mobilisation to site.

BHP port operations general manager Cindy Dunham said BHP was proud to partner with Kariyarra Traditional Owners and KMS.

"This opportunity extends beyond the creation of this project and the local Kariyarra jobs created through it," she said.

"It is, most importantly, also about the future and how BHP, Kariyarra Resources and Kariyarra Minprovise JV can continue to build on our relationship and to create more economic and social value opportunities."

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