Sirius Resources has announced that it has signed the Nova Mining Agreement with the Ngadju People — the traditional owners of the land containing the Nova Nickel Project — which will enable the Western Australian Department of Minerals and Petroleum to proceed with the grant of the Nova Mining Lease, and allow Sirius to develop the Nova nickel mine.
According to the ASX announcement by Sirius Resources, the Nova Mining Agreement incorporates a variety of economic, educational, vocational and cultural initiatives that are aimed at creating a lasting beneficial legacy for the Ngadju People which the company hopes will extend beyond the boundaries and the life of the mine.
The signing of the agreement marks a major milestone for the company as it is the key trigger for the Nova Nickel Project approvals process and ultimately the project development timeline.
Upon receiving the Nova Mining Lease, Sirius resources will be able to submit all of the pre-prepared documentation required for seeking the remaining development approvals.
“I am very proud that we have been able to work together to achieve such a positive outcome in such a short time. We have developed a very good relationship with the Ngadju People and have achieved what we think is a landmark agreement. I would like to publicly acknowledge the Ngadju People as traditional owners of the land, and their right to have a say, to participate in the venture, and to benefit from it. I would particularly like to thank the elders and representatives of the Ngadju People who conducted themselves with great leadership and dignity throughout the negotiation process, and also the open but constructive input from the broader Ngadju group, and look forward to working together with mutual respect for the benefit of all. I would also like to acknowledge the role of the Goldfields Land and Sea Council in the process,” said Mark Bennet, Managing Director of Sirius.
“In addition to rewarding shareholders, Nova provides us with a unique opportunity to do things the right was from the start. Too many companies still refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the connection of aboriginal people to their land, still see dealing with this as an impost on their business and still approach the issue in an adversarial way. I would like to think that our agreement sets an example for the constructive way in which the mining industry can engage and co-operate with the aboriginal communities in which it works to provide a enduring legacy that can stretch far beyond the mine gate. I also hope that this helps to show the broader Australian community that the development of the nation’s resources can be done in harmony with the key cultural and environmental values and aspirations of aboriginal and non-aboriginal people alike.”