The Traditional Owners of the Century Mine in North West Queensland have for the first time in the mine’s history taken an ownership stake in the operation.
The Aboriginal Development Benefits Trust (ADBT) was established 17 years ago under the terms of the Gulf Communities Agreement, the Century Mine’s Native Title Agreement, to manage royalty funds from the Century Mine and invest in economic development opportunities in the Gulf of Carpentaria Region for the Waanyi, Mingginda, Gkuthaarn and Kukatj Peoples.
The ADBT has invested in economic development opportunities and businesses to promote engagement of Traditional Owners and provide financial support.
ADBT businesses include Normanton Traders, the Doomadgee Roadhouse and the Daintree Discovery Centre.
At a recent Board Meeting, the ADBT resolved for the first time in its history to invest in the company that owns and operates the Century Mine, New Century Resources.
ADBT chair Fred Pascoe said while the investment was small, the decision represented a significant step for the Traditional Owners of the lands impacted by and surrounding the Century Mine.
“Instead of just receiving royalties and other contributions from the mine, we now have an ownership stake in the Century Mine,” Mr Pascoe said.
“For the first time in the mine’s history, the Waanyi, Migginda, Gkuthaarn and Kukatj Peoples will have a stake in the operation and our interests will be aligned with the ongoing success of the Century Mine.
New Century Resources bought the Century Mine from MMG earlier this year.
New Century Resources Managing Director Patrick Walta said the investment by ADBT represented a show of faith in the business.
“Not only is this a financial investment for the benefit of the Traditional Owners, but it represents understanding and support of the economic rehabilitation model being undertaken at the Century Mine,” Mr Walta said.
New Century Resources recently announced the commencement of a Restart Feasibility Study in 2017 with a view to recommencing economic activities during 2018.