Article by Kate Purnell courtesy of The West Australian.
Atlas Iron is the first miner in the Pilbara to award a contract to business with direct ties to the land’s traditional owners. Credit: Supplied
Gina Rinehart’s Atlas Iron has awarded a significant contract for its Miralga Creek mine to Indigenous-owned business East West Pilbara, making it the first miner in the region to provide work to a company with direct ties to the land’s traditional owners.
Under the agreement, EWP will provide load, haul, drill and blast services at the Pilbara-based iron ore mine in partnership with privately owned WA drilling contractor Ozland.
EWP managing director Troy Eaton said the contract paved a way forward for miners and traditional owners to work together.
“This will be the first Indigenous business in the Pilbara to be awarded such a valuable contract to conduct these specific mining services on their own native title lands,” he said.
“This venture is just the start of creating something that our kids and grandkids can continue well into the future and have something of their own to grow that continues to keep them connected to country.”
The Indigenous-owned business is connected to Atlas Iron’s traditional owner group Nyamal. The new iron ore mine is on Nyamal native title lands.
Atlas Iron did not disclose the value of the contract.
Miralga Creek is an extension of Atlas Iron’s Abydos mine and is due to haul first ore in April next year. The project is expected to produce eight million tonnes of iron ore over the next four to five years.
Atlas Iron chief executive Sanjiv Manchanda said the miner’s relationships with its stakeholders, suppliers and contractors were very important.