The BHP Billiton Banjima Comprehensive Agreement covers an area of 8,263 km2 and includes a number of the company’s Pilbara-based iron ore operations and most of the Banjima Native Title determination area. BHP Billiton Iron Ore President Jimmy Wilson said the agreement was believed to be one of the most significant of its kind in Australia and highlighted the company’s transparent and unique approach to engaging indigenous communities.

“BHP Billiton and the Banjima people have carefully considered all of the terms of this agreement over many years to ensure it would provide real and lasting benefits to both parties,” Wilson said. “We have secured an agreement that reflects our approach of developing true partnerships with indigenous communities. It moves us away from transaction-based engagement to an ongoing and open relationship that will span generations to come. With a life of more than 100 years, it provides long-term certainty for both BHP Billiton, in terms of our current operations and potential future developments, and the Banjima people, with regards to how we will respect and treat their land.”

“We are in the midst of a period of great change,” said Slim Parker, chairperson for the Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corp. “Through the agreement, the Banjima people have a great opportunity to build a fantastic future through programs and projects. This will enable sustainability of our law and culture for future generations to come.”

Simon Hawkins, CEO of Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corp., the native title representative body for the Pilbara region, said this agreement between BHP Billiton Iron Ore and the Banjima people is a positive outcome after many years of negotiation.

The area of the BHP Billiton Banjima Comprehensive Agreement includes some of BHP Billiton’s interests at Mining Area C, Yandi, Munjina, Upper Marillana, Ministers North, parts of Mudlark, Roy Hill and Marillana.