Tag Archives: indigenous opportunities

BHP engages Nyiyaparli-owned ROMS for mine rehab work at Newman

Nyiyaparli Traditional Owner Business, Resource Operations and Maintenance Services (ROMS) has been awarded a A$2.8 million ($2 million) contract to help with mine rehabilitation at BHP’s Newman Operations, on Nyiyaparli Country, in Western Australia.

Work is underway on the eight-month contract for bulk earthworks and mine rehabilitation of two of the overburden stockpile areas at Newman West.

The works involve a fleet of Cat dozers to undertake the bulk regrade work, in conjunction with a fleet of ancillary equipment to undertake topsoil spreading, scarification and fauna habitat construction.

This is ROMS’ first mine rehabilitation contract with Newman Operations, however the company has worked across BHP since joining the South Flank project, also in Western Australia, in 2018.

ROMS Managing Director, Jason Bull, said: “BHP has continued to support our growth and we’re now onsite at South Flank, Whaleback, Jimblebar and Mining Area C delivering our services to operations, sustaining capital and engineering works.

“We have two fully trained and developed Indigenous supervisors at BHP sites, as well as nine young Indigenous people completing a Certificate II in civil construction. This has helped build a solid portfolio of tickets, with strong on-site learning and positive mentoring through our group’s strong culture.”

Newman Operations General Manager, Dan Heal, said the partnership with ROMS was just one of the many partnerships Newman Operations hopes to build upon into the future with Pilbara Aboriginal businesses.

“Supporting our community and working with Traditional Owners towards a common purpose is something I’m particularly excited about growing here in Newman,” he said. “Contracts like this encourage the growth of Indigenous business and create new opportunities for our Traditional Owners to support their own communities.”

Bull added: “We’re extremely appreciative of BHP’s support and look forward to making a positive impact on the local community through our continued partnership with BHP.”

IMARC to put spotlight on Indigenous participation in mining

The 2022 International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) is putting the spotlight on Indigenous participation within the sector through multiple partnerships, opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander industry leaders, and a panel discussion dedicated to First Nations people working in the field at the ICC Sydney from November 2 to 4.

Several influential leaders will discuss the importance of Indigenous participation across the supply chain including Florence Drummond, the CEO of Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia (IWIMRA). The organisation has partnered with IMARC, working to raise the profile of First Nations women and contributing to best practice solutions ensuring the visibility, voice and quality participation of Indigenous women within the sector.

“We are so excited to have a formal partnership with IMARC and it’s only now that we are starting to recognise how truly impactful it will be,” Drummond says.

“From our history of compounded disadvantage and continued systemic challenges, it is understandable that many of our people are fatigued and frustrated at yet another mechanism for change. However, we have worked hard to agree on what shared value is in this context and to deliver this significant opportunity for all stakeholders.

“Based on trust, we plan for our delegates to be a part of the conversation and to ask the hard questions so that they can be the spark or the catalyst for change back in their home.”

Also on the panel is Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Transformation in Mining Economies’ (CRC TiME) First Nations Advisory Team, Jim Walker, who works with the mine closure and rehabilitation firm to ensure First Nations engagement, participation and outcomes are considered in their projects.

Walker says: “We’ve got to talk about how to involve Indigenous people, especially in the context of where to mine, how to mine and the impact of the mine as it moves through its estimated useful life. There’s a lot of Indigenous knowledge that can be utilised to mitigate the impact of mines, especially at the time of mine closures. Under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we are ‘rightsholders’ not merely ‘stakeholders’ and as such, engagement with us as Indigenous peoples becomes mandatory.”

Walker hopes IMARC will be not only an opportunity to collaborate and advance these conversations in Australia, but to have an impact on Indigenous communities around the world.

“If we can set the scene within Australia at IMARC then international delegates will take that message back and we may see more effective and impactful Indigenous engagement and participation across the global mining industry.”

In partnership with Whitehaven Coal, IMARC is also giving First Nations mining and resources leaders complimentary passes to attend the conference, providing opportunities to network, learn and be a part of the conversations at the Australian industry’s most influential mining event.

Indigenous executives are being encouraged to nominate themselves or can be nominated by colleagues here before the Monday, 17 October deadline to be in the running to receive one of 10 full access passes that include access to the IMARC gala dinner on November 3.

Whitehaven Coal’s Executive General Manager of Corporate, Government and Community Affairs, Michael van Maanen, is enormously proud of the initiative, saying: “We need to see more engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community. It’s such a central part of the Australian economy and as an industry, given our geographic distribution across the country, we would have to be better positioned than most other sectors to really form functional, rewarding partnerships with traditional owners.”

“Last year we spent A$8.73 million ($5.5 million) with 14 local Aboriginal-run businesses in the area and that’s really significant for us because we’re a big piece of the local economy, and through procurement we’re trying to ensure diversification and help Aboriginal businesses stand on their own two feet and have access to the various opportunities that can come from having a commercial relationship with Whitehaven,” van Mannen says.

Striving to enable equal opportunity, Whitehaven Coal has surpassed their initial Indigenous employment quotas with 20% of employees at its Maules Creek site and 11% of their total workforce identifying as Indigenous.

Walker adds: “There’s no reason you can’t exceed Indigenous employment quotas and it’s only to the betterment of companies when we talk about Indigenous engagement, especially when it comes to knowledge of the land and engagement in and around repurposing mine sites to benefit Indigenous people and Australia as a whole.”

International Mining is a media sponsor of IMARC

BHP signs up PMW Industries for crushing and screening plant gig at Mining Area C

BHP has celebrated what it says is an historic agreement with PMW Industries and its Western Australia Iron Ore (WAIO) team, which will see the 100%-owned-and-operated Banjima Pilbara Aboriginal Traditional Owner business maintain a semi-mobile crushing and screening plant at its Mining Area C operation, in the Pilbara, supported by new strategic partner and Mineral Resources Limited owned company, CSI Mining Services.

Led by Banjima business owner, Paula White (pictured on the right), PMW will operate on country at the iron ore operation as part of this large-scale, long-term scope of work. It is expected to create up to 30 new employment and training opportunities for Banjima and Indigenous people.

The agreement builds upon WAIO’s existing relationship with PMW, which started more than three years ago through its Local Buying Program.

WAIO Asset President, Brandon Craig (pictured on the left), said he was proud of the growing relationship between BHP and PMW Industries, saying the crushing contract award was one of the largest in WAIO’s history.

“Our Mining Area C iron ore operation is on Banjima country – in line with our commitment to become the partner of choice for Indigenous people, this partnership is founded on respect and mutual benefit,” he said. “We are working hard to create more opportunities for Indigenous businesses to support the growth of Indigenous enterprise, partnering for the future.”

White added: “PMW Industries is very proud to be partnering with BHP and CSI to enable more employment and economic empowerment for Traditional Owners and Indigenous people. As a Banjima woman and business owner, I’m also delighted to be creating opportunities for other Indigenous women and young girls to follow their dreams.”

This step forward builds upon BHP’s commitment to drive more sustainable, profitable and enduring partnerships with Indigenous businesses across its operations. In WAIO alone, by the 2024 financial year, BHP expects to double its current annual spend with Indigenous businesses to over A$300 million ($204 million).

“At the same time, we are actively improving our sourcing systems and procurement processes, in partnership with Traditional Owner and indigenous businesses,” BHP says. “This was demonstrated with the PMW agreement, which followed a competitive Banjima-only tender, structured specifically to enable Traditional Owner businesses to operate on country.”

WesTrac holds Cat D10T2 dozer handover ceremony with a difference

An equipment handover ceremony of a Cat® D10T2 dozer at WesTrac’s South Guildford facility, in Western Australia, this week held special meaning for the stakeholders involved, the Cat dealer says.

Indigenous contracting business Civil Road & Rail SX5, part of the broader SX5 Group of companies, will use the new dozer for mine rehabilitation services at Rio Tinto’s mine sites in the Pilbara.

According to SX5 Directors, Ralph Keller and Cherie Keller, and Co-Director and Eastern Guruma Senior Elder, Kenzie Smith, the act of rehabilitating the land has grown in significance over recent years.

“We’re making things green again, making Country feel better,” Ralph Keller said. “In repairing Country, we’re helping repair the trust and relationships with the region’s Traditional Owners.”

As well as being among the Traditional Owners of the land, Smith’s family have a long history of helping modern enterprises use and rehabilitate the land. The family once helped break horses and muster cattle on the stations in the region and was permitted to gather any stock left behind to sell themselves. SX5 was the brand applied to those stray cattle before they were taken to market. That set the family on an entrepreneurial path that resulted in Smith helping to establish and run SX5’s contracting business, according to WesTrac.

WesTrac General Manager, Cameron Callaway, said miners, as well as their suppliers and service providers, understand the vital importance of engaging with the Traditional Owners on whose country they operate to ensure continual improvement in environmental, social and governance outcomes.

“The world needs miners to supply the mineral resources required for a more sustainable future, and that means we need to support sustainable mining initiatives,” Callaway said. “Drawing on the knowledge of Traditional Owners and the expertise of knowledgeable, experienced Indigenous organisations such as SX5 is a key aspect of that, and it’s especially rewarding for WesTrac to be involved in projects such as this.”

The Cat D10T2, itself, comes with onboard technologies to drive greater efficiency, productivity and fuel economy, as well as improved operator safety and comfort. It is also equipped with the building blocks to enable remote and semi-autonomous operations.

Ralph Keller says technology has been key to SX5’s success, and support from Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) has made it possible for the group to continue to purchase equipment with the latest machine control technologies.

“What makes us different is that SX5 continues to reinvent itself every day,” he said. “It’s all about technology. That’s how you achieve excellence and how you mitigate risk.”

IBA, a commercially-focused Federal Government organisation, supports First Nations businesses with cashflow and performance bond guarantees to enable business growth.

Kirsty Moore, IBA’s Chief Executive Officer, says: “Putting the regeneration of Country back in the hands of First Nations companies like SX5 is smart business and we’re so glad to support their efforts.

“IBA provides leasing opportunities to First Nations businesses so they can acquire critical capital equipment without tying up large amounts of cash that is needed to cover the operating costs of the business. The new equipment has stepped up the production and quality of work that the business has been able to achieve by using equipment that is purpose-built for the task.

“SX5 is a great example of a First Nations business transforming its opportunities to work with big business – all while restoring Country and being trained in new technology.”

Martin Roedhammer, Rio Tinto Manager Rehabilitation and Closure, said: “We work hard to leave a lasting, positive legacy everywhere we work. As part of this, we strive to generate opportunities for businesses to be part of our supply chain and deliver local economic benefits.

“Rio Tinto has worked with SX5 for more than seven years to support and develop the group’s capacity and understanding of our requirements and facilitate introductions across our Pilbara operations.

“A credit to SX5 is the business’ ability to think of ways to increase efficiency and get the best quality outcomes, trialling the use of chains to improve final surface finishes and modifying equipment to achieve improved vegetation establishment.

“We look forward to a continued successful relationship with SX5 and witnessing them grow even more in the future.”

Macmahon and Redsands looking at rehab, contract mining opportunities in WA

Macmahon has signed an agreement with Redsands Rehabilitation to jointly pursue rehabilitation and contract mining opportunities in the northern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Redsands is an Indigenous-owned business focused on the rehabilitation and revegetation of land disturbed by mining. The company was founded by Dennis Sceghi, who has worked in the mining industry as an equipment operator and contractor for over 30 years and is also an elder of the Kultju native title group.

Macmahon CEO and Managing Director, Michael Finnegan, noted that by working together, Macmahon and Red Sands will have an enhanced ability to identify work, offer economic opportunities to Indigenous people and improve the sustainability of the mining industry.

“Redsands is a regional business with very specialised environmental expertise, drawing on the skills of traditional owners,” he said. “With this agreement we will be able to target new opportunities which may not have been available to us individually. We also hope to be able to create additional Indigenous employment and expand our rehabilitation services in Western Australia.”