Native title holders opposing an iron ore mine bordering Karijini hold a swag of tenements next to the park they say have been pegged to ensure “culturally safe” mining.
Native title holders opposing an iron ore mine bordering Karijini National Park hold a swag of tenements next to the famed beauty spot they say have been pegged to ensure “culturally safe” mining.
That campaign aims to “alert the community to the significant threats to Karijini National Park from yet another proposed iron ore mine”.
But at the same time WGAC offshoot Guruma Resources holds at least six tenements bordering the park.
Guruma has no stated intention to mine the tenements but is conducting soil sampling and magnetic surveys with an eye to ensuring any development of the land meets standards set by traditional owners.
WGAC has partnerships with Rio Tinto and Fortescue, which both hold extensive tenements in the area, which the body said had committed to a culturally safe mining approach.
But Equinox’s 343-million-tonne Hamersley iron ore project has fallen afoul of that approach, according to WGAC.
Equinox chief executive Zac Komur said the miner would seek to find common ground with WGAC while advancing the project.
“We are intent on collaborating with them and have reached out to propose a joint development of the Hamersley iron ore project, especially given their emerging involvement in a number of iron ore exploration and mining ventures in close proximity to our operations,” he said.
“Given that the Hamersley Iron Ore Project is underpinned by a granted mining lease and an existing native title agreement signed by the group, Equinox Resources intends to exercise its lawful rights to advance this project.
“We look forward to continuing to engage with the Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation in a mutually respectful manner to unlock the value of the natural resources of the region for the benefit of all parties”.
Equinox is expecting to undertake environmental studies and a drilling program next year to define its resource and is yet to develop a mining proposal.
The tenement sits outside the north-west corner of Karijini National Park near Hamersley Gorge and Fortescue’s Solomon iron ore mine.
WGAC director Dawn Hughes yesterday said a mine in the area would irrevocably ruin the western side of the park.