Skip to content

Leading Practice Mining Acts Review - Statutes Amendment Bill released

Building relationships between Aboriginal communities, explorers and government

Stronger partners, stronger futures

Stronger Partners Stronger Futures updates

Co-designing the Future workshop

On 17 and 18 October 2017, the South Australian Government’s Mineral Resources Division is holding an independently facilitated workshop for those parties who are actively involved in negotiating native title mining agreements under Part 9B of the Mining Act 1971.

The purpose of the Workshop is to work together to share ideas, expertise and wisdom, with a view to:

  • building further trust between government, native title groups and industry;
  • strengthening relationships based on understanding, respect and early engagement;
  • driving better collaboration between stakeholders; and
  • identifying co-designed solutions to the operation of the native title system for mineral exploration in South Australia.

The workshop is the best opportunity stakeholders have had in over 21 years (since the introduction of the existing native title system) to consider the future of the native title system for mineral exploration in South Australia.

Given the strong response, unfortunately places at the Workshop are now fully subscribed. If you were unable to secure a place at the workshop, the Stronger Partners, Stronger Futures team will be happy to meet with you at a later date.

Issues Paper

Co-designing the Future WorkshopThe Issues Paper summarises the key matters raised through consultations with Traditional Owners and industry, and their legal representatives since 2014. This Issues Paper was prepared so everyone can see what has been said, identify concerns they have in common and consider where they would like to see change. These issues will form the basis of discussions at the Co-designing the Future Workshop.

We will report back to all parties on the outcomes and actions from the Workshop directly and through this website.

For more information contact:

Heidi Crow
Principal Policy Advisor (Aboriginal Heritage and Engagement)
Phone: (08) 8463 3508


Andrew Moll
Principal Policy Advisor (Native Title and Engagement)
Phone: (08) 8463 3056

Summary report - Results of consultation so far

Key observations from the consultation so far are presented in the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures Summary Report, August 2017 (PDF 3.5 MB).

This report has been prepared by our independent facilitator Ian Dixon as an overall summary on the review of the native title land access process to date and sets out some of the key observations emerging from discussions.

Stronger Partners Stronger Futures updates

Part 9B forum update - our progress so far

We have met with representatives of 9 native title groups so far. These meetings have provided a range of valuable insights into the issues faced by Aboriginal people dealing with exploration and mining and we are hoping to meet with four more over the next few months.

Meetings are ongoing, but please contact us to make an appointment.

More about how you can be involved in the consultation process

SARIG training

Our South Australian Resources Information Gateway (SARIG) provides free, easy to access online information about mining and exploration across the state. Knowing how to use SARIG means you can easily find out on the internet who is exploring or mining in your native title area.

You can use SARIG to find:

  • South Australian mining and petroleum projects
  • Geology, geophysics, ergolith, paleodrainage, petroleum basins, groundwater and earthquakes
  • Mineral, petroleum and geothermal tenement boundaries
  • Exploration company details and commodity information
  • Infrastructure locations e.g. power stations, substations and transmittion lines, water pipelines, roads adn railway, ports and airports
  • Other government information e.g. about national parks, Native Title and property boundaries
  • Seismic lines and seismic horizon maps

Stronger partners, stronger futuresPart of what makes South Australia great is its great mineral resources. We want all South Australians to have the best social and economic opportunities that our rich mineral resources can provide.

Strong partnerships give the best results for everyone, and we know there is more work to be done to support Aboriginal communities, explorers and miners to work together to build better relationships based on collaboration and trust.

Because this is important to us, we have established the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program to explore how we can all work together to forge better collaboration and maximise the long-term social and economic benefits that successful mining projects bring to communities.

Native title mining agreements

Part 9B of the Mining Act 1971 sets out procedures that must be followed before carrying out exploration or mining activities on native title land. Part 9B came into operation on 17 June 1996 and is an alternative to the ‘right to negotiate’ scheme in the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993.

Many native title mining agreements have been successfully negotiated since 1996, but the process still poses challenges for some. This includes valuing and preserving Aboriginal culture, engaging early and respectfully, determining when activities affect native title, and providing certainty about timeliness and costs.

Identifying solutions together

Our intention is that Aboriginal communities, explorers and Government work together to identify and make improvements to the operation of the native title system as it applies to mineral exploration. Building a shared vision about what the future might look like will provide the best possible outcomes for everyone.

We recently consulted with explorers and native title lawyers to seek their views on the operation of Part 9B. We now want to understand how the system is working, on the ground, for Aboriginal communities. Over the next six months we will be meeting with native title groups who work in partnership with explorers and miners to hear about the challenges and opportunities they have experienced in negotiating agreements for mineral exploration, and to hear how well they think the system is working and where improvements might be made. This will complete the first stage of the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program.

Getting involved

Beginning in September 2016 we have been meeting with Aboriginal communities who work in partnership with explorers and miners to hear about the challenges and opportunities experienced in negotiating native title mining agreements and Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) for mineral exploration.

We are hoping to meet with representatives of more communities over the coming months.

What we would like to learn more about

What Aboriginal communities think of the agreement-making process, including:
  • Your experiences negotiating native title mining agreements or ILUAs
  • Your views on the timeframes and costs involved in negotiating agreements
  • The challenges you face and the opportunities you see
  • The outcomes you look for when negotiating an agreement
  • Your experiences with what happens when things don't go well
How well the agreements work in practice
  • Your experiences in working on country with explorers and their representatives
  • If your agreement delivered what you expected
Mineral exploration
  • How well the operations of the mineral resources exploration industry and exploration activities are understood
What the future might look like
  • How we can work together to design and build a better system for land access to benefit everyone
  • How do we make sure we are on the right track?
  • Do we need better access to information and tools to make sure everyone has the best opportunity to understand the Part 9B process and learn more about mining and exploration? how would you like to access information? For example, through the DSD Minerals website, fact sheets, more detailed guidelines or video clips.

Consultation: meetings and workshops

We plan to hear from more groups commencing over the next 3 months to build a more comprehensive understanding of what is happening across the state.

If  you are unavailable during the above times, we would be happy to arrange to meet at a later date.

Our experience so far is that the discussions take around 2½ hours. If you are having a meeting and would like us to attend please let us know.

Where to from here?

Currently comments and recommendations from native title groups are being collated for publication. The next step will be the coordination of a workshop between native title groups and industry to discuss the findings and identify practical ways for moving forward together.

We encourage you to be a part of this important process so that we can achieve the best possible results.

In parallel with this ongoing engagement, we are developing a range of communication and education tools to make sure everyone has the best opportunity to understand the Part 9B process, and learn more about exploration and mining and about Aboriginal heritage and culture.

Video project

One of the aims of the Stronger Partners Stronger Futures program is to raise awareness with explorers and mining companies about how to engage with Aboriginal communities in a culturally appropriate way.

It has been suggested that making a short video with interested native title groups would be a good way for the mineral resources industry to learn about the groups they will be working with.

It would also be an easy way for native title groups who work with miners and explorers to start the education process with companies who want to access their country to learn about their people and country, their protocols and what they would consider to be good engagement. This will help companies to understand what is expected of them when first contacting and meeting with Aboriginal communities.

It is planned that each video would run for around 5–7 minutes and would be hosted on the Government of South Australia Mineral Resources Division website and the native title group’s website.

While each video would be in a similar format with a few key points to be addressed, it is up to each group to decide what they would like to say about themselves and the messages they would like to convey.

Production costs will be met by the Mineral Resources Division.

Currently there are two videos in production. Funding for videos is subject to availability. Preference will be given to projects where filming can be coordinated to coincide with a meeting or other activities on country.

If you are interested in being part of this video project please contact:

Heidi Crow
Principal Policy Advisor (Aboriginal Heritage and Engagement)
Phone: (08) 8463 3508

Stronger partners, stronger futures

How can I find more information on this program?

For more information, contact:

Andrew Moll
Principal Policy Consultant
Phone: +61 8 8463 3056

Heidi Crow
Principal Policy Officer
Phone: +61 8 8463 3508