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Banjima Elders to advise on South Flank Heritage

BHP
The Banjima people have seven mines, 300km kilometres of railway line and hundreds of exploration tenements on their land operated by BHP, Rio Tinto and Hancock. Photograph: Tim Wimbourne/Reuters/Corbis

Banjima Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (BNTAC), the prescribed body corporate for the Banjima People, together with BHP, today announced plans for the establishment of a Heritage Advisory Council, comprising Banjima Elders and senior BHP representatives, to provide input into mine planning at South Flank.
 
The Council’s goal is to build on the long-standing partnership between Banjima and BHP that has evolved over 20 years and saw the reaching of a Comprehensive Agreement between the organisations in 2015.

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The South Flank mine is located on Banjima’s traditional lands in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
 
BHP and Banjima are committed to continuing to work together in a spirit of respect and cooperation and to further deepen and strengthen our engagement and partnership into the future.
 
The members of the Advisory Council will be selected and endorsed by the Banjima Elders Council. Under BNTAC’s constitution, the Elders Council comprises Senior Banjima Elders and is tasked with providing guidance on matters including heritage, lore, language and custom.
 
Senior Banjima Elder and BNTAC Chair, Mr Maitland Parker, said:
 
“The establishment of the South Flank Heritage Advisory Council is the next step in how Banjima and BHP seek to consider and communicate with respect to cultural heritage.
 
The establishment of this Council opens an important line of communication between Banjima Elders and BHP. We want to ensure that we continue to strike the right balance between social and economic benefits and protection of our heritage. We must consider the benefits and impact, not only for the current generation, but also future generations.
 
“The Advisory Council will comprise Banjima Traditional Owners that have an unbroken connection to this part of Banjima country. We look forward to working in good faith with BHP with regard to heritage matters and mine expansion plans at South Flank.”
 
BHP President Minerals Australia, Mr Edgar Basto, said:
 
“The establishment of this senior Advisory Council reflects the continued strengthening of the partnership between BHP and Banjima and will ensure on-going high level dialogue between us on important cultural heritage and other matters.  It builds on an already very strong partnership between Banjima and BHP”.

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