Native Title and Heritage
De Grey’s Hemi deposit lies within the Kariyarra Native Title determination area.
Granted in December 2018, the determination area is approximately 17,354km2 of traditional Country, encompassing the town of Port Hedland, the Aboriginal community of Yandeyarra, several pastoral leases and mining operations. The Kariyarra determination area features many rivers, the largest of which are the Yule (Kakurrka Muri) and Turner (Kapankalanha) rivers. Major topographic features of Kariyarra Country, these rivers are important to the cultural landscape, with many stories surrounding them, including being home to the mythological water serpent – the Warlu.
In December 2022, De Grey signed a landmark Native Title Mining Agreement with the Kariyarra people. The agreement not only provides pathways for employment, training and contracting for Kariyarra people, it will also establish a Kariyarra ranger program to support Aboriginal cultural heritage and land management.
We are currently developing a comprehensive Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) with the Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation, a document which will guide the management of heritage sites within the De Grey project area and create robust protocols for managing matters of cultural significance.
De Grey’s western tenements sit across Ngarluma Country. Native Title was granted to the Ngarluma people in May 2005, with their determination area predominately located around the Roebourne area, also extending to include Murujuga, or the Dampier Peninsula. Ngarluma Country features rivers, hills and coastline that are important for the cultural well-being and passing of knowledge for the Ngarluma people, and this connection to Country is still a part of their daily lives.
In 2023, De Grey is working with Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation to develop a Native Title Agreement for the Toweranna deposit.
Our eastern tenements are located on Nyamal Country. Native Title was granted in September 2019 to the Njamal people, with their determination area extending inland through to the De Grey River. Nyamal people can trace their presence on Country to approximately 37,000 years before the present time. Nyamal Country features many interesting sites, including rock art, rock shelters and artefact scatters, and spiritual stories that keep Nyamal connected to their ancestors.
De Grey works closely with all the Native Title groups noted above in the management of cultural heritage located within our tenement package. Extensive heritage survey work is ongoing as we continually seek to better understand and collaboratively manage the context of the environment we work within.
Through our consistent approach to heritage, the team at De Grey are forming long-term relationships and learning from the traditional custodians of the land where we operate.
We are developing ongoing training for all De Grey employees and contractors. Compulsory cultural awareness workshops will soon be held on Country with Traditional Owners leading the way. These workshops will facilitate an understanding and appreciation for the management and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage. The aim of these workshops is to create an environment where De Grey employees and contractors can break down cultural barriers with Traditional Owners and get to know each other in a fun and educational space.