Native Title

We successfully had our Native Title claim (WG 6728/98 WC 98/62) registered during 1998 which in turn has given us the right to negotiate with mining groups and resource development companies in regard to future acts such as mining and development within our claim area. Our Native Title claim is currently managed by Christensen Vaughan Lawyers, Level 1, 16 St Georges Terrace, Perth, Western Australia. 

Since 2002 the MIB Work Group  has negotiated and  signed numerus agreement pursuant to the native title act and as a requirement of these agreements we now operate a charitable trust called the Martu Idja Banyjima Charitable Trust. The proceeds of this trust are used to better the long term prospects of Aboriginal people in the Pilbara region.The MIB trust also provided funding to assist with the collection of preservation of evidence for our Native Title Claim during 2006 and 2007 and will continue to do so during 2007 and 2008.

The MIB native title claim contains some of the largest iron ore deposits in the world. Some of those deposits are being mined or are under development. Others are still being investigated through exploratory and in-fill drilling programs.  Since approximately 2004 there has been unprecedented demand for iron ore world wide, largely due to the economic growth of China. Iron ore prices have risen dramatically. Existing iron ore producers have been earning large profits from their mines and have moved to expand their operations.

All the available ground within the MIB claim area is highly sought after for exploration and mining. The existing mining companies want to secure as much ground as possible for future exploration and mine expansion. While in the past it was only economical to mine large deposits of relatively pure iron ore, the increase in price together with improved technology means that areas of country that were previously ignored are being sought out.

Almost all of MIB land has the potential to be mined, raising the need for MIB people to be actively involved in the protection of the environment and Aboriginal heritage.  Mining companies are obtaining rights to mine MIB land for the next 20-40 years.  This needs to be balanced with the rights of MIB people to use and enjoy MIB land now and in the future. 

 

MIB claim

MIB native title claim area(click on image for large map)