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RTIO Ngarluma Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)

Category: Agreement
Date: 18 March 2011
Sub Category:Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act)
Place:Shire of Ashburton, Shire of Roebourne, Town of Port Headland
State/Country:Western Australia, Australia
The ILUA area covers about 7,070 square kilometres in the vicinity of Karratha. The ILUA area falls wtihin the local government authorities of the Shire of Ashburton, Shire of Roebourne and the Town of Port Hedland. The agreement area relates only to the Ngarluma Native Title Area in the Ngarluma Determination (Federal Court number WAD6017/96; WC99/14). The ILUA area does not relate to those areas which form part of the Yindjibarndi Native Title Area.
Legal Status: Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on 29 July 2011
Legal Reference: National Native Title Tribunal Number WI2011/005
Alternative Names:
  • Rio Tinto Iron Ore Ngarluma Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Subject Matter:Exploration | Future Act | Land Use | Mining and Minerals
    Summary Information:

    This agreement is between:
    - Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd; and
    - Robe River Mining Co Pty Ltd on its own behalf and as venturer and manager for and on behalf of Robe River Iron Associates; and
    - Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation as trustee of the Ngarluma People's Native Title and as agent for and on behalf of the Ngarluma People; and
    - Mt Welcome Pastoral Co. Pty Ltd.

    The purpose of this ILUA is to give consent to Rio Tinto's activities in the Pilbara region.

    Detailed Information:

    Content of the ILUA

    Commencement and Termination

    The ILUA commenced on 18 March 2011. The ILUA will terminate:
    - in accordance with clause 38. This Clause has not been released by the National Native Title Tribunal so it is unknown what this clause contains; or
    - when Rio Tinto no longer has an interest in the agreement area; or
    - if the parties agree in writing to terminate the ILUA.

    Future Acts

    The parties have consented to every agreed future act in the ILUA area. The agreed acts for the purposes of this ILUA are:

    • the doing of every future act;
    • the grant or modification of every approval and interest;
    • existing operations including all existing interests and existing approvals; and
    • the modification of every existing interest and existing approval.

    Agreed Acts do not include the grant to Rio Tinto or acquisition by Rio Tinto from a third party of a mining lease, exploration licence, special prospecting licence or prospecting licence or any other exploration title.

    However, it will be a an agreed act if it is:

    • a grant of an interest or approval for an agreed purpose, such as exploring for or abstracting water or constructing or maintaining a borrow pit or quarry required for Rio Tinto's Iron Ore Business; and
    • land which at the commencement date [18 March 2011] is held by NAC, the Ngarluma People, any Ngarluma related entities or the Mt Welcome Pastoral Company as the registered proprietor of a freehold estate.

    Right to Negotiate

    The right to negotiate (see glossary) referred to in the Native Title Act does not apply to any agreed act in the ILUA Area.

    Background to the ILUA

    Legal History

    The Ngarluma People, together with the Yindjibarndi peoples, lodged a claim for Native Title with the Federal Court of Australia on 21 November 1996. On the 2nd of May 2005 in Daniel v Western Australia [2005] FCA 536 (2 May 2005) the Federal Court awarded Native Title to the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi peoples.

    The Native Title rights recognised include the right to access, the right to conduct rituals and ceremonies, and the right to hunt, fish, forage, collect bush tucker, bush medicine, ochre, flora, fauna and water and the right to protect and care for sites and objects.

    Rio Tinto and the Ngarluma People

    Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd and Robe River Mining Co Pty Ltd, parties to the ILUA, are wholly owned by Rio Tinto.

    Rio Tinto is currently involved in a $14 billion expansion project in the Pilbra region. The signing of five separate agreements with native title holders in March 2011, has cleared the way for this expansion to continue.

    The total land covered by these agreements with the Ngarluma, Kuruma Marthundunera, Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura, Nyiyaparli and Ngarlawangga groups is around 70,000 square kilometres.

    Rio is expected to provide the Ngarluma peoples with a package of benefits worth some $300 million dollars. The package is said to be directed at health, education, vocational training and ongoing Aboriginal employment.

    Rio Tinto first entered into a binding letter of agreement with the Ngarluma people in July 2008. This letter of agreement paved the way for the ILUA.

    Related Entries

  • Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd
  • Robe River Mining Company Pty Ltd
  • Mt Welcome Pastoral Co Pty Ltd
  • Case Law
  • Daniel v State of Western Australia [2005] FCA 536 (2 May 2005)

  • References

    National Native Title Tribunal (2005) Native Title Determination Summary: Ngarluma/Yindjibarndi


    RTIO Ngarluma Indigenous Land Use Agreement - ( PDF)


    Body Corporate Agreement (Australia) | Future Act (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Right To Negotiate (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)

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