Bauxite mining on Cape York Peninsula (CYP) commenced in the early 1960s in the region surrounding the town of Weipa. Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) operates its bauxite mines on the homelands of 11 Indigenous Traditional Owner groups. The mining activity currently operates under three Aboriginal Agreements including an Indigenous Land Use Agreement – the Western Cape Communities Coexistence Agreement (WCCCA) – which provides RTA with access to the land in return for a range of benefits to the Traditional Owners, including employment, training, royalty payments and future relinquishment of the land (Klimenko and Evans, 2009). Despite reports of some ‘good progress’ in meeting the terms of the WCCCA (Klimenko and Evans, 2009, p 5), many of the region’s Traditional Owners remain dissatisfied. Two key areas of Indigenous community concern are the current premining management practices and the outcomes of post-mining landscape rehabilitation efforts.
Annandale, M G, Castelain, G and Meadows, J A, 2016. Sustainable mining – indigenous community benefit, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2016 Conference, pp 173–175 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).