A ‘best practice’ mining and heritage agreement signed with a local exploration company will help to deliver long-lasting and beneficial outcomes for Ngadju people in the Goldfields region.
The agreement, which was inked recently with Pioneer Resources Ltd, will provide ongoing compensation to the Ngadju people for their loss of native title rights over the company’s PioneerDome project area, situated near Norseman, about 130km south of Kalgoorlie.
Ngadju Native Title Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer Paul Stenson said the compensation would form a part of the $750,000 per annum Benefits Management System (BMS) to provide a range of ongoing initiatives for Ngadju people.
The BMS will fund 14 policy areas such as education and training, scholarships and employment projects, as well as different types of financial support for Elders’ health, travel and accommodation expenses, children with special needs, school and TAFE fees and individual and team sporting pursuits.
“The Benefits Management System will provide meaningful opportunities for our younger generation to reach their potential while at the same time caring and supporting our Ngadju Elders,” Mr Stensonsaid.
“I congratulate Pioneer Resources for their approach to negotiating this win-win outcome for both parties. It was a very efficient and effective process that only took about six months, which is a veryquick timeframe for these type of agreements.”
Mr Stenson described the Pioneer Resources’ mining and heritage agreement as ‘best practice’because it included provisions for costs to be paid, as well as compensation for loss of native title rights to allow for exploration and mining by the company.
“The current arrangements are pretty tired and don’t necessarily represent the best interest of native title groups,” he said. “We’ve made considerable improvements to the framework of the native title agreements to ensure that a ‘costs agreement’ is the starting point of our negotiations.
“In the past, native title groups met a lot of the costs involved in negotiating an agreement with mining companies. Having a costs agreement negotiated up front is a big step forward for Ngadju people.”