FMG Solomon Mining Lease Fact sheet
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Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has made a number of statements in recent weeks regarding the status of their Solomon Hub project.
The news service, AAP, has reported variously that FMG “insists it has all the approvals needed to proceed with its Solomon iron ore project”; that FMG’s new chief executive, Neville Power, claims “construction is advancing rapidly and first ore production is slated for the March quarter of 2013″; and that “Fortescue had obtained all of the legal clearances it needed to proceed with Solomon”.
Also, in their June 30 2011 Quarterly Report Fortescue announced that the “final piece of mining tenure for Solomon has been granted following the favourable ruling from the Native Title Tribunal”.
Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation would like to clarify that FMG has not concluded a land access agreement with the Yindjibarndi people; that the Full Federal Court is now considering the validity of both the Firetail and Valley of the Kings Mining Leases, and either way, the validity of these leases may well be the subject of a further appeal to the High Court; the fourth mining lease comprising the Solomon Hub has not been granted at all; Miscellaneous Licences for infrastructure (an airport, roads, power lines, accommodation village, etc.) in the same areas of Yindjibarndi Country as these three Mining Leases (M47/1409, M47/1411 and M47/1413), and in excess of 100 Miscellaneous Licences, to develop a railway to transport ore from the proposed ‘Firetail’ mine to the proposed Anketell Port, have not been granted. YAC has objected to all of these Miscellaneous Licences.
Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation, as the chosen representative body of the Yindjibarndi People, a Prescribed Body Corporate under the Native Title Act, and the corporate trustee for the Yindjibarndi People, will continue to oppose FMG’s project in Yindjibarndi Country until such time as a fair and just agreement has been negotiated between YAC and FMG.
The lack of such an agreement means that FMG will not have the certainty and stability over its operations on Yindjibarndi country, which a properly concluded land access agreement (registered with the Native Title Tribunal) would provide. Another consequence is that without such agreement, uncertainty in respect of FMG’s future liability for compensation remains.