Cameco has signed a ‘landmark’ agreement with Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation (WDLAC) (Jamukurnu-Yapalikunu), securing the support of the Martu people for development of the Kintyre uranium deposits in the Western Desert region of Australia.
Martu traditional owners joined Cameco representatives and WDLAC staff to announce the Kintyre Mining Development Indigenous Land Use Agreement at a signing ceremony in Perth on 11 October.
The agreement supports the development of the Kintyre project, an advanced-stage exploration joint venture between Cameco (70%) and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd (30%).
“The Kintyre Agreement opens the door to a range of business, employment and cultural initiatives which ensure Martu have a strong stake in the future of the development,” said WDLAC chairman Teddy Biljabu.
“For Martu people, it's very important that we have the opportunity to work and do business on our country.”
WDLAC deputy chairman Brian Samson said rigorous heritage protections were a major focus of negotiations, with the Kintyre area home to some highly sensitive cultural sites.
"Through strong negotiation, Martu have protected our cultural sites at Kintyre by identifying exclusion areas where no mining activity is permitted," Samson said.
The mining development agreement was developed over a three-year period and was ratified by Martu community members at a special general meeting held in Parnngurr (Cotton Creek) in late September.
“We've developed a strong relationship with the Martu leadership and are pleased that the community supports this agreement,” said Brian Reilly, managing director for Cameco Australia.
“Securing the social licence to operate in the region is an important step since it allows us to continue to work in the area as we assess the feasibility of the Kintyre project.”
Cameco is carrying out further work to advance the Kintyre project toward a development decision.