24/06/2009 - 09:21

IOH in Pilbara native title access deal

24/06/2009 - 09:21


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West Perth-based explorer Iron Ore Holdings has signed a key native title access agreement covering its central Pilbara iron ore projects.

IOH in Pilbara native title access deal

West Perth-based explorer Iron Ore Holdings has signed a key native title access agreement covering its central Pilbara iron ore projects.


The announcement is below:



Iron Ore Holdings Limited (ASX code: IOH; "IOH") is pleased to announce that it has signed a key Land Access Agreement with the Innawonga & Bunjima People (IB) Pilbara Native Title Group covering its Central Pilbara iron ore projects in Western Australia.

The Agreement, which follows extensive consultation with the IB, is a further positive step in IOH's path to iron ore production and lays the foundation for a partnership with the potential to deliver significant economic benefits to both parties.

The Land Access Deed covers IOH's extensive Central Pilbara exploration portfolio and includes the Company's 100%-owned Phil's Creek Project, which is expected to be its first production opportunity. IOH has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place with Rio Tinto for a mine gate sale covering production of up to 1.5Mtpa from Phil's Creek.

The Agreement outlines details for compensation by way of up-front payments to the IB as well as ongoing royalties from future mining activities.

There are also provisions for future exploration within the IB landholdings as well as agreed heritage protection processes. IOH will also work with IB representatives to develop an employee Cross Cultural Awareness program and workshop.

An Implementation Committee consisting of IB representatives and former State Premier and IOH Director, the Hon Richard Court, has now been formed. The committee will meet bi-annually and will discuss a broad range of matters including project development, employment, training and other matters related to the Land Access Deed.

Commenting on the announcement, IOH's Managing Director, Mr Matt Rimes, said: "The agreement with the Innawonga & Bunjima People Native Title Group is a very positive step forward for both parties and represents a genuine 'win-win' outcome.

"We have developed a very strong and open relationship with the IB and we look forward to working with them as a fundamental stakeholder in the development of our iron ore projects in the Central Pilbara region," Mr Rimes continued.

"Through the development of our Phil's Creek Project, Iron Ore Holdings is committed to ensuring that local communities share in our future success through direct and indirect employment opportunities as well as the associated financial benefits that will flow from the development of our projects," he continued.

The signing of the Land Access Deed represents another important step towards securing the grant of the Mining Lease for the Phil's Creek Project. The grant of the Mining Lease remains subject to finalising a separate agreement with another Native Title Claim Group and completion of environmental and other regulatory approvals.

The IB Native Title Claim covers approximately 19,567 square kilometers of land in the central Pilbara region, and includes part of the iconic Karijini National Park. The Bunjima name for the Hamersley Ranges is Karijini, where evidence of early occupation dates back more than 20,000 years.


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