A new contract with Pilbara Traditional Owner business Gallawinya Pty Ltd, will supply up to 4,000 tyres a year for light vehicles and light trucks across BHP WA Iron Ore’s central Pilbara mining operations, the mining company says.
Gallawinya is one of more than 80 Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses engaged directly in the first half of BHP’s 2023 financial year – with a total spend of more than A$120 million ($82 million) – to Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses through WAIO’s Project Rise initiative.
Chris Cowan, Head of Global Indigenous Procurement, said the Gallawinya contract represented a major step forward in a non-traditional supply area and would create social value opportunities including additional regional employment.
“We’re trying to find ongoing, longer term operational contracts to collaborate with Traditional Owner businesses, and this is a great example of that,” he explained.
“What I particularly like about this one is, it’s demonstrating a new category of supply by a Traditional Owner business that we haven’t seen before, and it’s going to create social value back into the communities in which we operate.
“We hope to collaborate with our maritime team to bring tyres directly into Port Hedland to reduce the need to transport the tyres by road from Perth to the Pilbara. This will improve our carbon footprint as well as safety risk and performance.”
Under the contract, Gallawinya will initially supply tyres to BHP’s central Pilbara operations (Mining Area C, South Flank and Yandi) before potentially expanding to other WAIO’s mining sites including Jimblebar, Newman and Port Hedland.
Gallawinya is a subsidiary of Nyamal owned and operated East West Pilbara Group, which employs more than 10 people in the Pilbara, through its facilities at Port Hedland and Karratha. The BHP supply contract will create more training and employment opportunities for Indigenous people.
Compared to the same period in FY22, to date WAIO has increased its year-to-date annual spend by around 62.5% and, thanks to Project Rise, is on track to deliver on its FY23 target of A$225 million spend with Indigenous and Traditional Owner businesses, which will extend to A$300 million in FY2024.