Building relationships between Aboriginal communities, explorers and government
Stronger Partners Stronger Futures updates
The Mineral Resources Division is planning to make short videos with interested native title groups to help miners and explorers learn more about Aboriginal culture and what would be considered to be good engagement.
Part 9B forum update
Consultation with native title groups has commenced and we have had several successful meetings so far which provided a range of valuable insights into the issues faced by Aboriginal people dealing with exploration and mining.
Part 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.
Commencing September 2016 we are seeking to meet with Aboriginal communities who work in partnership with explorers and miners to hear about the challenges and opportunities you have experienced in negotiating native title mining agreements and Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) for mineral exploration.
This could be a meeting followed by a facilitated workshop (half or full day) or an informal workshop.
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
- 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 in February 2017 to build a more comprehensive understanding of what is happening across the state.
Currently we are free to meet between the following dates:
- 6 to 24 February 2017
- 28 February to 3 March 2017
- 20 to 31 March 2017
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?
When the consultation with the native title groups has been completed, all comments and recommendations will be collated and we are hoping that the next step will be the coordination of forums between native title groups and industry to discuss the findings.
Following our meetings with native title groups we will work with all stakeholders to facilitate the next round of inclusive workshops to 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 will be 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.
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 3 minutes and would be hosted on the Department of State Development's 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.
If you are interested in being part of this project please contact:
Principal Policy Officer (Aboriginal Heritage and Engagement)
Phone: (08) 8463 3508
How can I find more information on this program?
- The South Australian Resources Information Geoserver (SARIG) can show on a map of South Australia information such as where mineral deposits have been found, land over which mineral exploration and production tenements are held, and what company holds the tenement, land areas where no mineral exploration and production is not allowed or restricted, and native title holders. More information about using SARIG
- The Dixon Partnering Solutions website outlines techniques and approaches that can be used to build strong and successful partnerships
- Guidelines for proposed mining activities on native title land - Part 9B of the Mining Act 1971 (PDF 1.3 MB)
For more information, contact:
Principal Policy Consultant
Phone: +61 8 8463 3056
Principal Policy Officer
Phone: +61 8 8463 3508