Mining major Rio Tinto has signed a land use agreement with the Yindjibarndi Traditional Owners in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.
The latest deal provides the company with approvals for future exploration, infrastructure and mining on land in which the Yindjibarndi have received a determination or where their claim is still in progress.
The 13,000km² area in the central area between Tom Price and Karratha includes both Rio’s major rail lines and supporting infrastructure, as well as some deposits listed for future development.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Andrew Harding said, "Not only have we secured certainty for the on-going operations and exploration across the area, but we have also reached an agreement that will deliver substantial benefits to future generations of Yindjibarndi people for decades to come."
The agreement will provide financial benefits to support cultural, community and commercial development activity and generate opportunities of inter-generational value for the Yindjibarndi people.
In addition, it sets several commitments and agreed standards, covering how Rio Tinto and the Yindjibarndi will work together as partners.
Rio Tinto has now signed participation agreements with six native title claim groups in the Pilbara – the Ngarluma, Kuruma Marthudundera, Puutu Kunti Kurrama & Pinikura, Nyiyaparli, Ngarlawangga and the Yinhawankga Traditional Owners.