The Kintyre uranium deposit, near Parnngurr (Cotton Creek), was discovered over 25 years ago by CRA Exploration Pty Ltd (now Rio Tinto).
The Kintyre depost is now operated by Cameco Australia, who bought the project in 2008 from Rio Tinto as part of a 70% joint ventre arrangement with Mitsubishi.
In September 2009 a worker’s camp was established to continue exploration, pre-feasibility work and environmental assessment.
A landmark agreement announced between Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation (WDLAC) (Jamukurnu-Yapalikunu) and Cameco in mid-October 2012 secures the support of the Martu people for development of the Kintyre uranium deposits in the Western Desert region of Australia.
The agreement supports the development of the Kintyre project, an advanced-stage exploration joint venture between Cameco (70%) and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (30%).
WDLAC chairman Teddy Biljabu said the agreement allows for a high level of traditional owner engagement.
Never before have Martu people been able to negotiate for such strong terms over the life of a project,” he said. The Kintyre Agreement opens the door to a range of business, employment and cultural initiatives which ensure Martu have a strong stake in the future of the development.
For Martu people, it’s very important that we have the opportunity to work and do business on our country.
WDLAC deputy chairman Brian Samson said rigorous heritage protections were a major focus of negotiations, with the Kintyre area home to some highly sensitive cultural sites.
“Through strong negotiation, Martu have protected our cultural sites at Kintyre by identifying exclusion areas where no mining activity is permitted, Samson said.
The mining development agreement was developed over a three-year period and was ratified by Martu community members at a special general meeting held in Parnngurr (Cotton Creek) on Wednesday, September 26, 2012.
We’ve developed a strong relationship with the Martu leadership and are pleased that the community supports this agreement, said Brian Reilly, managing director for Cameco Australia.
Securing the social licence to operate in the region is an important step since it allows us to continue to work in the area as we assess the feasibility of the Kintyre project.
Cameco is carrying out further work to advance the Kintyre project toward a development decision.