Ankamuthi People and Metro Mining
In August 2017 the Queensland Government granted three mining leases to Metro Mining Ltd for its $35.8
million Bauxite Hills Mine project, located north of Weipa within north
Queensland’s world-class bauxite region.
‘[Granting the leases to Metro Mining] will allow it to consolidate and
unlock the potential of the significant bauxite reserve that exists on the
Western Cape York Peninsula, and generate hundreds of jobs for the region,’
says Dr Anthony Lynham, Queensland Minister for State Development and
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines.
Essential to securing the mining leases was the fact that Metro Mining
negotiated with traditional owners to amalgamate two separate native title
and land access agreements into a single ancillary agreement and land
access agreement (ancillary agreement).
The Bauxite Hills and Skardon River native title and land access agreements
were separately negotiated with their respective traditional owners. In
early 2017, Metro Mining acquired Gulf Alumina and merged its Bauxite Hills
project with Gulf Alumina’s Skardon River project to create the Bauxite
Hills Mine project.
The ancillary agreement was reached jointly by the traditional owners – the
Ankamuthi people, and the Old Mapoon Aboriginal Corporation (OMAC) – the
'The ancillary agreement simplifies implementation of the undertakings made
by all parties and will streamline administration and ongoing monitoring,’
says Simon Finnis, Managing Director, Metro Mining.
‘The Ankamuthi people and OMAC are very, very supportive. When Metro Mining
completed the takeover of Gulf Alumina we were able to sign an amalgamated
agreement in about a month.
‘That really shows they are keen for economic development. They are very
keen to get on with it. They want to see employment and training, they want
to see the business opportunities – and we are hoping we can provide. Metro
Mining is very comfortable with the group of people we are dealing with.’
The ancillary agreement includes a land clearance cultural heritage
management plan, the provision of employment and training opportunities for
traditional owners, business development and contracting opportunities for
Ankamuthi businesses, and payment of mining benefits to both the Ankamuthi
people and OMAC for the life of the projects.
Metro Mining has commenced training and employment opportunities for the
traditional owners. Initial traditional owner employment is running well
above 30 per cent of the construction workforce – more than the target in
the ancillary agreement.
‘I am particularly pleased with the high level of Ankamuthi engagement on
site already,’ says Finnis. ‘As construction works continue and production
ultimately commences, we will strive to build on this positive start.’
Community engagement meetings and skills-audit workshops targeted for
employment opportunities were held in July and September 2017 across local
communities including Injinoo, New Mapoon, Hopevale, Mapoon and Cairns.
Land clearance cultural heritage management plan
Under the cultural heritage management plan, Metro Mining has undertaken
cultural heritage surveys and land clearance across an initial 900 hectares
of the mining leases.
During land clearance, the preservation of Ankamuthi cultural heritage has
focused predominantly on the select felling, collection and storage of
culturally modified trees (scar trees).
A liaison committee comprising representatives of all parties has met three
times and a fourth meeting is planned for the end of 2017.
Bauxite Hills Mine shareholders
During 2017, Metro Mining secured $40 million in debt financing and raised
$38 million via a share placement to Australia and international investors
to fund its mining projects. Metro Mining’s largest shareholders include
China’s Dadi Engineering Development Group, China Xinfa Group Corporation
Ltd and UK private equity group Greenstone Resources.
Construction of the Bauxite Hills Mine is underway and mining operations
are due to commence in the second quarter of 2018. This will trigger
financial payments to help fund long-term programs agreed with the
Ankamuthi people and their organisations.
‘I am particularly pleased with the high level of Ankamuthi engagement on site already.’
Simon Finnis, Managing Director, Metro Mining
Image 1: Traditional owners and Metro Mining representatives.
Source: Metro Mining.