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Kimberley Region Native Title and Heritage Protection Memorandum of Understanding

Date: 23 June 1999
Sub Category:Exploration Agreement (Native Title Act) | Memorandum of Understanding
Place:Kimberley Region
State/Country:Western Australia, Australia
Subject Matter:Cultural Heritage | Employment and Training | Exploration | Mining and Minerals | Recognition Agreement / Acknowledgement
Summary Information:
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a protocol for agreements between Traditional Owners in the Kimberley and certain resource developers about exploration in the Kimberley. It is an alternative procedure to the future act provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 and satisfies the requirements of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (Western Australia). The parties to the MoU are the Kimberley Land Council and the Kimberley Explorers Group comprising Acacia Resources Ltd, BHP Minerals Pty Ltd, Glengarry Resources NL, Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Ltd, Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited, Tanami Gold NL and Western Metals Zinc NL.

The MoU sets out protocols for liaison, cultural and heritage protection, provision for community benefits, training and employment opportunity for exploration access agreements across the Kimberley region.

This agreement does not apply to Aboriginal Reserve Land or Determined Land under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).
Detailed Information:
The Agreement states that:
'We the Kimberley land Council (KLC) and the Explorers Group, wish to build a new relationship based on mutual respect and understanding in relation to the Kimberley Region. �We seek to recognise and understand our differences and our common concerns ... Strive together to share common outcomes which contribute to our economic, social and cultural wealth and that of the Kimberley community'.

'As a first principle, we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Kimberley lands in all their cultural diversity and their continuing responsibilities under customary law. We also acknowledge the contribution of the Explorers Group to the development of the Kimberley Region and its importance in the Kimberley community'.
The details of the memorandum of understanding are as follows;

� Each explorer will notify the KLC, in writing, of any application for an Exploration tenement in the Kimberley Region.
� The KLC will notify relevant Traditional Owners of the tenement application and inform them of the Model Agreement, as a possible alternative procedure to that available under the future act provisions
� The KLC will notify the explorer of whether or not the Traditional Owners wish to enter into the Agreement with the explorer.


1.The Traditional owners agree not to object and if having already lodged objections to withdraw those objections, to the grant of the Exploration tenement
2.The explorer agrees that during the course of its exploration on the exploration tenement they will:
a. Provide employment and economic opportunities to the Traditional owners
b. Minimise the social and environmental impacts of its activities
c. Provide community benefits to the Traditional Owners
This agreement does not apply to Aboriginal Reserve Land or Determined Land under the Native Title Act 1993

Additional protocol covered by the Memorandum of Understanding
Heritage Protection and Work Clearance Protocol
PART 1: Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) � prior to on-ground exploration activities
3. The Explorer shall not commence any On-Ground Exploration Activities without first engaging the KLC to conduct a Heritage Impact Assessment, and if necessary, a Field Inspection or a Work Clearance Survey for the relevant area.
4. The HIA notice shall provide information necessary to complete a HIA, including;
a. Details of the Explorer�s proposed On-Ground Exploration Activities
b. Two topographic maps of the land in question
c. Schedule of the On-Ground Exploration Activities

PART 2: Field Inspection
5. The KLC shall arrange for a Field Inspection survey to be carried out and the relevant report back to the Explorer, within 42 days.
6. The KLC shall organise a Field Inspection Team consisting of the following personnel,
a. Up to 4 male and/or 4 female Traditional Owners
b. Two KLC representatives
7. The Field Inspection team shall examine the physical location of the proposed On-Ground Exploration Activities to either clear or not clear the activities accordingly.


8. The KLC shall organise a Work Clearance Survey team consisting of the following personnel
a. Up to 4 male and/or female Traditional Owners for each day of survey
b. A KLC representative; and
c. An male/female anthropologist
9. The Survey team shall examine the physical location of the proposed On-Ground Exploration Activities to either clear or not clear the activities accordingly, giving due consideration to any program modification that the Explorer�s representative may be able to provide to accommodate specific areas of concern.


10. The KLC shall, submit to the Explorer a budget including an estimate of all the costs and expenses associated with the required Field Inspection or Work Clearance Survey.
11. The Explorer shall pay all reasonable costs, fees, disbursements and expenses incurred by the KLC in carrying out a Field Inspection or Work Clearance Survey in accordance with a budget agreed.

In addition the Explorer undertakes to pay:
a. Vehicle costs
b. The cost for anthropological services


12. The Explorer shall only carry out On-Ground Exploration Activities that have been approved pursuant to any HIA, Field Inspection or Work Clearance Survey.
13. The Explorer shall ensure that its contractors, employees and agents comply with the terms of the Agreement
14. The KLC warrants that to the best of its knowledge and information Traditional Owners nominated to participate in any HIA, Field Insp or Work Clearance Survey have the authority and right to speak for the relevant land, in accordance with traditional Aboriginal law and custom.

The Parties acknowledge that this Agreement is not intended to affect any rights of the Traditional Owners to seek compensation under the Native Title Act in relation to the grant of the Exploration Tenement.

Related Entries

  • Kimberley Land Council Aboriginal Corporation - Signatory
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)

  • References

    National Native Title Tribunal (1999) Kimberley Region Native Title and Heritage Protection Memorandum of Understanding


    Exploration Agreement (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Future Act Agreement (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Memorandum of Understanding

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