The State Government has signed a significant native title agreement with the Ngarluma people of the Pilbara, over 4,300 hectares of land intended for the Anketell Port project.
During his visit to the Pilbara, Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett met representatives of the Ngarluma community to sign the agreement at the project site.
“I congratulate the Ngarluma people for the commitment they have demonstrated throughout the negotiation process and I look forward to building on our strong relationship as this agreement progresses,” Mr Barnett said.
“This agreement was approved unanimously by the traditional owners and offers an opportunity for the Ngarluma people to continue their journey towards a sustainable and independent future.”
The State Government is planning a multi-user deepwater port with an ultimate capacity of at least 350 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), along with an associated industrial area, near Karratha in the Shire of Roebourne.
“This is a significant project that will unlock the potential of the West Pilbara by allowing small and mid-sized iron ore companies, and potentially producers of other commodities, to gain access to valuable port space,” the Premier said.
“Once fully operational, Anketell’s capacity of at least 350mtpa will be more than 20 per cent higher than total shipments out of Port Hedland in 2012-13.
“This Native Title Agreement provides further certainty to a potential port builder and future users, and is imperative in ensuring that this site can be developed quickly as required.”
The financial settlement package involves a combination of payments (by the Department of Lands on behalf of the State) to the Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation and a trust structure for the benefit of the Ngarluma people.
A native title heritage survey is currently under way at the Anketell site, which will identify culturally significant sites and help shape the future development of the project.
The Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation is the governing body representing the Ngarluma people
The agreement covers 4,300ha of coastal land located approx. 30km east of Karratha
In 2013, iron ore exports from the Pilbara totalled 527 million tonnes (mt) and are forecast to reach more than 800mt by 2020