Updated agreements with mining partners

One of the big successes of this past year has been working with mining companies. The Board of Directors has continued to negotiate updated Land Access Agreements. These updated agreements have been reached to ensure Martu Country is looked after and protected.

Below you can find a short update on each of these agreements with WDLAC.


WDLAC and Antipa Minerals have agreed to alter the existing land access agreement for the Citadel, North Telfer, and Patterson projects. This allows Antipa to explore additional areas associated with these projects.

WDLAC’s Board of Directors have approved these changes with the condition that Antipa honour its agreement to provide employment and training to Martu people, ensure proper heritage protection standards are enforced, and allow WDLAC to provide cultural awareness training to Antipa staff.


WDLAC has attended three mediations with Birla Nifty about the proposed Nifty copper mine. The negotiations will continue with the hopes an agreement on an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) can be reached.


The ILUA signed with Cameco is currently suspended following poor resource prices.

As part of examining future work on the site, WDLAC and Cameco have agreed to replace the various tenements with one large tenement with the same external boundary. WDLAC’s Board approved this amendment in June 2016.


After the signing of a land access agreement in April 2016, WDLAC and Encounter have agreed to add a tenement to Encounter’s exploration project in the Great Sandy Desert.

This updated agreement includes all of the normal agreements to employ Martu people, protect Martu heritage, and receive cultural awareness training from Martu people. The Board agreed to this expanded agreement in June 2016.


In April 2016, WDLAC’s Board approved a request by Energia to merge existing tenements with those held by Nickelex. All tenements on Martu Country originally registered to Energia or Nickelex are now held by Energia, and any costs incurred by the change have been covered by Energia.

Any changes to the exploration deed do not affect the benefits afforded to Martu Traditional Owners, including the training of Martu people or the protection of Martu heritage.


The WDLAC Board has approved a variation to its agreement with FMG, providing the miner with additional exploration licenses. These licenses are to be granted at the same cost as those in the original agreement.


WDLAC and Hess have been discussing an ILUA and five exploration licenses since 2012.

In 2014, negotiations began between WDLAC and Hess to establish an ILUA, and in 2015, WDLAC agreed to discuss the ILUA with WDLAC members at a special general meeting. Some time passed, and in a bid to restart discussions, WDLAC sought approval from the board to progress the ILUA negotiations.

After bringing the proposal to the bush, the WDLAC Board agreed to continue negotiating with Hess about the ILUA and future exploration at its April 2016 meeting.


WDLAC has been working on an exploration agreement with Hurricane Prospecting. Hurricane is interested in a tenement which surrounds a registered heritage site.

The WDLAC Board approved the agreement with Hurricane at its June 2016 meeting with the condition that Martu people are consulted, employed and trained, and the heritage of Martu people is protected.


Following discussion with the Martu people at a general WDLAC meeting in May 2015, WDLAC and Newcrest have entered into an ILUA. WDLAC Directors Kenny Thomas, Kerry Kelly, and Desmond Taylor have been nominated to a Relationship Committee following the agreement.

This committee works with Newcrest to oversee the agreement’s successful operation for two years. The WDLAC Board approved the nomination of these members to this committee in September 2016. As part of this agreement, the committee will work with Newcrest to ensure Martu people are given jobs and training, and that Martu heritage is protected.


Peako now holds the tenement once worked on with Raisama and others. When not held by Peako, the tenement in question (E45/3278) was surveyed by a team including Muuki Taylor, Wakka Taylor, Nyari Morgan and Teddy Biljabu. This team identified an exclusion zone to the western side of this tenement.

An agreement was made by WDLAC and Peako to undergo exploration on this tenement, with the exception of the exclusion zone. This agreement was approved by the WDLAC Board in September 2016. This agreement recognises the value of Martu heritage, and will provide work and training for Martu people.


In December of 2011, WDLAC and Reward entered in to an ILUA for the Lake Disappointment area. In 2013, Reward applied for expanded exploration rights, and these rights were granted in November 2015.

You can email WDLAC at cwrona@wdlac.com.au with any questions about these agreements.