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Mining and Indigenous Communities in the Pacific BRIAN WYATT National Native Title Council Australia.

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Presentation on theme: "Mining and Indigenous Communities in the Pacific BRIAN WYATT National Native Title Council Australia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mining and Indigenous Communities in the Pacific BRIAN WYATT National Native Title Council Australia

2 A Booming Australian Economy General unemployment: 4.2%* High indigenous unemployment: 13%** –Down from 30% (1994) Mining sector – major indigenous employer International Council on Minerals and Metals study (2001) –Low long-term indigenous employment * Unemployment rates correct as at 7 June 2007 ** Indigenous unemployment rate obtained from Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage Report 2007

3 Agreements Native Title legislation – 1993 –problematic Legislation amended – 1998 –surge of negotiated agreements –Benefits (jobs, training, royalties etc); Positive outcomes –Negotiation powers –Land rights claims have validity Changes by companies –More respectful on land access –Increased social responsibility

4 Why develop Community Relations? Timely project development; Credibility in market place –competitive advantage in globally competitive environment Improved Indigenous relationships –Trust and lasting long-term relationships –Benefits for shareholders and indigenous people

5 Minerals Council of Australia Peak body; 85% of Australias production MoU with Federal Government (May 2005); –Partnership – Government, companies, communities –Indigenous employment and training; –Development of Indigenous business; –Local negotiations

6 Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) Pilbara (Western Australia) $A2 billion project –Mine, rail line and port 45 million tonnes / year Commitment to local employment –Currently 78 indigenous employees –435 job applicants –Full range of job skills

7 FMG (contd) RAIL LINE DEVELOPMENT Extensive heritage surveys –Indigenous Protected Area (rock art engravings etc.) Ministerial consent required Negotiated outcome with traditional land owners –Financial payments –Employment and training –salvage of Aboriginal cultural materials

8 Burrup Rock Art Remote Pilbara region Hugely significant –Carvings and paintings, thousands of years old –Flying Foam Massacre (1868) National Heritage Listing –Decision imminent –Listing wont stop projects with existing State approval –State Government to welcome listing

9 Burrup Rock Art (contd) INDUSTRY ALONGSIDE CULTURAL SITES Special agreement reached –Negotiated by Government –Native Title claim gave people the right to demand negotiations Benefits negotiated, in return for surrender of native title –Freehold title –Land leased to State for 99 years –Role in future management –Cultural centre ($5.5m) –Financial compensation ($5.8m) –Jobs, training, contracting

10 Burrup Rock Art (contd) FUTURE MANAGEMENT Gas plant construction commended 2005 ($10b) –2 leases granted by Government –Half of 940 engravings affected Heritage surveys completed 3-part strategy 1.conserve in situ; 2. move to a safe place; or 3. destroy in situ as a last resort. This would be done in consultation with Traditional Owners.

11 Argyle Diamond Remote north of Western Australia Worlds largest supplier 30 million carats per year ¼ of worlds natural diamond production Primary source of rare pink diamonds 800 employees Commenced 1985 600 million carats / year

12 Argyle Diamond (contd) Participation Agreement with Traditional Owners (September 2004) Registered as an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (April 2005) –Sanctioned by Commonwealth law (Native Title Act 1993) –Legally binding agreement for all parties

13 Argyle Diamond (contd) ARGYLE PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT Traditional Owners are landlords of the lease Company has right to mine Long-term relationship between company and Traditional Owners Community and social infrastructure $ income stream and trust fund for people Jobs, training, business opportunities Heritage protection

14 Indonesia – Sidoarjo Toxic mudflow leak (May 2006) Owned by Joint Venture –Lapindo Brantas (50%) –Medco Energi Oil and Gas (32%) –Santos (18%) Cost cutting suspected Neighbourhood now uninhabitable

15 Sidoarjo (contd) Social and economic disaster 700 hectares covered 40,000 people affected 12,000 homeless 12 villages buried 1000 jobs lost Livelihoods destroyed

16 Sidoarjo (contd) Presidential Decree –company to bear all costs –Company to buy destroyed property only 185 people compensated –must have evidence of land ownership People rescue items from an area flooded by the eruption of a mud volcano. Photograph: Dimas Ardian/Getty Images. The Guardian, 23/02/07

17 Timor Sea Dispute Maritime boundaries/ royalties royalties E. Timors main revenue –Royalties could double GDP Laminaria-Corallina oilfield –$2 billion to Aust. So far –Timor Gap - East Timors main source of revenue for next 20 years

18 Papua New Guinea RAMU NICKEL MINE 85% Chinese owned Environmental approval granted 2001 a Controversial decision: Ocean dumping of tailings Affect on marine ecology (Astrolabe Bay) Affect on peoples livelihoods/fish stocks PNG National Fisheries Authority opposed mine

19 Ramu Nickel Mine, PNG (contd) Environmental impacts understated –Toxic tailings –Unknown toxins –Serious impacts on livelihoods Motupore Declaration (2003) –Customary rights of landowners –Effective participation in decision making –Free prior and informed consent –Right to veto

20 Future Challenges Land-based developments require: –Participation –Understanding –Recognition UN Draft Declaration on Human Rights –establishment and maintenance of rights –Article 11 Redress for lost cultural, intellectual, religious and spiritual property Imperitives: –Full recognition of land rights –Full consultation –Free, prior and informed consent

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